Immigration Protesters Call For End to Detention at NYC March

What to Know

  • Protesters chanted "shame!" and sang "shut detention down!" ahead of a march in New York City on Saturday morning
  • The march denounces the Trump administration's policy of separating families of people caught crossing the border illegally
  • Protesters were expected to cross the Brooklyn Bridge and head to Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn

Protesters in President Donald Trump's hometown chanted "shame!" when his name was mentioned and called for his ouster as they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in sweltering heat on Saturday to denounce his policy of separating families of people caught crossing the border illegally.

There were calls to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and suggestions of hypocrisy among politicians who support Trump's policies and stress family values.

An Episcopal priest whose grandparents fled the Armenian genocide said Trump's immigration policies were ungodly and un-American.

"It's important for this administration to know that these policies that rip apart families —that treat people as less than human, like they're vermin— are not the way of God," said the Rev. Julie Hoplamazian, the rector of the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew in Brooklyn. "They are not the law of love."

Padma Lakshmi, the immigrant host of TV's "Top Chef," told protesters that the immigration fight was shaping up to be a defining moment for the country.

"Do we want to be a nation of humanity and compassion, or do we want to be a nation that is unfeeling or unjust?" said Lakshmi, who emigrated to the U.S. from India as a child. "This is not the future I want for my children, those children, or anyone's children. That is why we're here."

Crowds gathered at a Manhattan park before heading across the bridge in 90-degree heat to Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn, near the federal courthouse.

The crowd provided a refrain of "shame" as an organizer ran down a list of people marchers are blaming for the family separations. Among their targets: President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Customs and Border Protection and ICE.

One protester's tongue-in-cheek sign argued that the "only acceptable ICE in law enforcement" was "Law and Order: SVU" star Ice-T.

Drivers honked horns in support as protesters marched on the pedestrian walkway that's suspended above the Brooklyn Bridge roadway. Some marchers had small children on their shoulders. Others wielded parasols as shields against the blistering sun.

Hoplamazian, 39, said the Bible teaches that it is important "to stand up for those treated unjustly" and that Sessions committed "theological malpractice" when he used a snippet of verse to justify separating families.

"Jesus was a refuge," said Hoplamazian. "The Bible is pretty clear from the beginning to the end that God asked people to stand with the foreigner, with the stranger."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us