Washington: Tens of thousands of people, including Indian Americans, took to streets in several US cities to protest against controversial immigration policies of President Donald Trump which has resulted in separation of children of illegal immigrants.
The Trump administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy of separating immigrant parents and their children on the US border has resulted in the separation of nearly 2,000 children from their parents and guardians, sparking a public outcry.
Hundreds of people braved scorching sun at a park near the White House here to protest immigration policies of President Trump.
Similar protests were held in cities and towns across the country mostly led by Democratic party leaders and rights activists yesterday demanded that Trump’s immigration policies be humane and under no circumstances separate kids from their parents who cross the border illegally.
Trump, however, insisted that there should be zero tolerance for those crossing the border illegally and they need to be deported.
“When people come into our Country illegally, we must IMMEDIATELY escort them back out without going through years of legal maneuvering. Our laws are the dumbest anywhere in the world,” Trump tweeted as large number of people came out on streets and in public places including outside the White House against his immigration policies.
“Republicans want Strong Borders and no Crime. Dems want Open Borders and are weak on Crime!” alleged the US president.
“We’re here to say to Trump: End this zero-tolerance policy,” Indian American Congresswoman Pramila said at the Washington rally organised by a coalition of organisations formed American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Domestic Workers Alliance and Move On.
So far more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents after being arrested by the US law enforcement agencies after they illegally crossed the border.
“Get these kids out of cages and reunite them with their parents,” Jayapal said at the rally christened ‘Families Belong Together,’ which among others was joined by a number of celebrities, including Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Alicia Keys, Diane Guerrero, a star on Netflix’s ‘Orange is the New Black,’ and ‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
In Atlanta, the legendary civil rights leaders and Congressman John Lewis, 78, slammed Trump for his immigration policies.
“There is no such thing as an illegal human being. We are all humans,” he said.
The Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez told the CNN that this is a moral crisis for the nation. “We’re fighting for our democracy. This is one of those where were ya’ moments,” he said.
“Today, people are coming together all across the country to say that we can’t be locking up children and separating families,” Senator Mazie Hirono said.
“Donald Trump created this crisis through his own actions, blamed others for what’s happening, and used the ensuing chaos to demand a legislative solution that harms even more people. It’s up to each of us, and to the millions of Americans outraged by his actions to stand up, fight back, and demand action,” she said.
In New York, thousands of people rallied and marched in support of immigrant families and to condemn the Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy.
“By forcibly ripping families apart at the border, the Trump administration showed the world how morally bankrupt it truly is,” said Steven Choi from the New York Immigration Coalition.
Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union alleged that the Trump regime is doing everything it can to divide immigrant families and drive them away.
“The current crisis will not end until every child that has been separated is reunited with their parents, every family is treated with dignity and due process, and our immigration policies reflect our values,” Lieberman said.
The public outcry in the wake of images and stories of the children caught in the middle of Trump’s immigration policy has sparked a fierce debate in the US.