WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2018) – Shouting “Move Trump, Get out of the Way,” and “Trump, Escucha, Estamos en la Lucha” (“Trump, Listen, We Are Still in the Fight” in Spanish), hundreds of protesters rallied at the doors of Trump Hotel today to denounce the Trump Administration’s abhorrent treatment of immigrants through policies like the separation of children from their parents at the border.
“Criminalizing families and separating children from their parents is a practice that shocks us all and yet it continues,” said CASA’s Executive Director Gustavo Torres, during a rally earlier. “But that is why we are here today. People who are personally affected and have seen what this administration is doing first-hand are being joined by people who fight on behalf of immigrants and those who simply see these actions as morally reprehensible.”
More than 250 people from more than a dozen organizations, and others who simply showed up to support the plight of immigrants, gathered first in front of the U.S. Department of Justice for a rally to demand Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescind the practice of separating families apprehended at the border.
“No matter where you come from or what your immigration status is, families belong together no matter what,” Jessica Morales Rocketto, with We Belong Together. “This is indeed an emergency. The Trump Administration is tearing children apart from their parents and it must immediately cease this policy.”
According to an analysis by the New York Times, more than 700 children were separated from their parents since October and more than 100 of them were under the age of 4.
“I stand here at 13 to demand action because this is not right. I could not imagine how it would be to lose both parents, to imagine them not being there for the first day of school,” said Sadhana Pateriay, a 13-year-old activist with We Belong Together. “That is why I stand here today to say this is enough. This is not ok. We need change because families should not be torn apart and we belong together.”
Activists also called for justice in the cases of two women who died coming to the United States. Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, 19, was shot in the head by a Border Patrol agent last week and Roxsana Hernandez, a transgender woman who died while in ICE custody after asking for asylum.
“We’ve seen children being ripped from their parents’ arms. We’ve seen agents kill a young woman looking for a better life and we’ve seen them deny life-saving medicine to people in their detention camps. Claudia. Roxsana. Say their names,” said Claudia Quinonez with United We Dream. “We are here to demand that no more money be given to the agencies that are killing our people and separating our families. Congress, do the right thing and defund ICE and CBP.”
After the rally protesters took to the street, first with a sit-in followed by a march toward the Trump Hotel.
Other co-sponsors included ACLU of DC, MoveOn, National Domestic Workers’ Alliance, MomsRising.org, We Belong Together, Sanctuary DMV, United We Dream, Faith in Public Life, Human Rights Campaign, Clínica del Pueblo and hundreds of activists.
For photos and videos please contact Ingrid Zelaya, CASA.