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Jul 3, 2018 10:27 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Community Members Protest Immigration Policy At East Quogue Village Green Saturday

Nealry 300 people attened a
Jul 3, 2018 1:21 PM

Chanting “¡Sí se puede!” in unison, members of the East End community gathered around the fountain at the East Quogue Village Green on Saturday for a rally protesting the Trump administration’s policy regarding the arrests of illegal immigrants at the Mexican border, and the separation of children from their families.

The event consisted of speeches and a march around the park to Montauk Highway, where protesters united in a display of signs and chants calling for change and solidarity.

Christina Casey of Quogue organized the event, “Families Belong Together,” one of thousands held on June 30 across the country, coordinated by the public policy advocacy group MoveOn.

“Today, we are focused on reuniting families now, to end family separation and immediately re-unify those that have been separated,” Ms. Casey said before the crowd at the start of the event. “Number two—I cannot believe I have to say this—children and families deserve due process, not indefinite imprisonment. Children do not belong in baby cages and internment-like camps. Family incarceration is not the solution to family separation.

“And, number three, end zero tolerance. Parents should not be criminally prosecuted for trying to get their children to safety.”

More than 280 people attended the rally, including nearby community members and people from points west and New York City, as well as representatives from local nonprofit organizations, many of whom discovered the event through social media.

“We have a number of grassroots groups here,” said Julie Sheehan, one of the event’s organizers. “MoveOn is the organizing group with Christina, but we also have the East End Action Network, we have Neighbors in Support of Immigrants, and we have SEPA Mujer. You’ll notice we also have a lemonade stand, which is another little act of pure genius. The proceeds of that go to benefit the families in need of legal representation, our immigrant friends and neighbors.”

“We’re selling lemonade and water,” said 9-year-old Genevieve Case, who was manning the lemonade stand. “We’re trying to raise money for the lawyers for immigrant kids. We’ve been doing extremely well.”

Speakers at the rally included Eileen Duffy from the Facebook group Let’s Visit Lee Zeldin, Cheryl Keshner from the Empire Justice Center, Naomi Sanchez from SEPA Mujer, and Democratic candidate for Congress Perry Gershon.

Ms. Keshner, during the march, noted, “I came here, one, to support this community effort, and also the national effort to oppose the separation of families, to support our immigrant communities, and to let the Trump administration and the local politicians who are supporting him know that what they are doing is completely unacceptable and antithetical to American values.”

Ms. Keshner said she attended two similar events earlier that day in Huntington and Massapequa. She offered her experiences working with the migrant community on Long Island.

“There are a number of people on Long Island who are being detained by ICE in the courts,” she said. “We’ve heard from a lot of families where there have been separations right here, and I’m not saying that to minimize what’s happening on the border—it’s all important—but I think people need to know that it’s not just across the country, it’s right here.”

Ms. Sanchez, the representative from SEPA Mujer, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting the immigrant Latina community on Long Island, shared her own experiences with the attendees, mentioning her own struggles with domestic abuse in Mexico, her efforts finding asylum in the United States, and her current involvement with the group trying to help other women like her seeking Victims of Criminal Activity: U Non-immigrant Status Visas, or “U-Visas.”

“It’s heart-touching,” she recounted in Spanish, “to hear a mother say that she cannot return to her country because of the violence that is being lived over there, that she needs help, and also that they have family at the border. We are all afraid that they will stop approving U Visas. I applied for a U Visa, and, thanks to this U Visa, I am now a resident of this country. I can work in an organization. And I can help more women. The U Visa—it’s our salvation.”

Ms. Sanchez also noted the apparent absence of Latino attendees at the event. “Do know why? It’s because they are afraid,” she said. “They do not have the courage to present themselves, because they fear the police.”

She offered a few words to Latino immigrants directly. “To the Latino especially—you should not be afraid of coming to a protest, because it is your right,” she said. “In the center where we work, we are teaching people about their rights. Even if you are undocumented in this country, you still have rights, and as an immigrant and undocumented person, you can shout, ‘¡Sí se puede!’ y ‘We want change!’”

In the background, the crowd chanted, “Say it loud, say it clear! Immigrants are welcome here!”

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Has Lee Zeldin, our Congressman, done or said anything to oppose this travesty? No, and don’t tell me it’s over because of Trump’s cave-in exscutive order ending the shameful practice of taking children from their mothers. It’s not over at all, because there are over 2,000 kids who’ve been ripped from their families and still haven’t been reunited with them.

So has Lee Zeldin, our Congressman, done anything to help with that situation, which cries out ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jul 3, 18 2:37 PM
Turkey, what was the defining moment for you when you came to the conclusion this nation has no right to enforce it's immigration laws? Let's just be clear about this. You demand illegals travelling with children be given entry into the country. You don't believe in deporting those who come here illegally. You want to abolish ICE. You find the concept of this nation defending it's borders from illegal aliens offensive. You want to see this nation diminished and believe illegals have every right ...more
By MoronEliminator (215), Montauk on Jul 3, 18 4:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
Turkey Bridge. Will you step up and take in some families? Support them? Give them $$ to live on? Those organizations coming out to fight for these families should require each protester to donate a minimum of $10,000 to help support the families coming across the border illegally. Can you step up and help? Start the process? you live in Quiogue, a wealthy enclave. Im sure your house is worth about $1 mil plus. The lemonade stand is good for the legal part but then they have to survive here.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jul 3, 18 6:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
The real travesty is when parents drag their children over international boundaries in violation of international law.
By Gillnetter (105), Hampton Bays on Jul 3, 18 2:50 PM
Risking life and limb for a chance at a better life? That's the most American thing I've ever heard.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 3, 18 2:59 PM
2 members liked this comment
Oh so knowingly breaking the law is ok if it’s for a chance at a better life...? In that case I am pretty sure more money will give me a chance at a better life. Clearly you won’t mind if I come over to steal all of your stuff and empty your bank accounts and open a bunch of credit cards under your name to run up millions in debt... because that’s an acceptable “American thing” to you.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 3, 18 3:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
I didn't say it was ok or acceptable, I said it was quintessentially American.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 3, 18 3:53 PM
i selectively love some laws that i dont fully understand!!
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Jul 4, 18 6:55 AM
Our taxes should be paid on our own homeless. We have 100k children in foster care. Yes separated. Have no family and we are choosing illegal immigrants? So I'm American wake up.
By Win sky (58), Southampton on Jul 3, 18 3:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Most people are capable of caring about more than one thing at the same time.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 3, 18 3:56 PM
You're a coward and a traitor. You support the dissolution of our borders and demand that our immigration laws be nullified. Yet, you don't have the courage, the honor, or integrity to stand up a tell your fellow Americans why they have NO RIGHT to insist immigrants come legally. You have to hide the hatred and contempt you hold for this nation beyond insincere, meaningless expressions of saccharin emotion. Pitiful. Come on, tell your fellow Americans this isn't a legitimate country, and therefore ...more
By MoronEliminator (215), Montauk on Jul 3, 18 4:17 PM
Hey Moron, why would I say things I don't believe?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 3, 18 4:22 PM
The protesters are absolutely correct. I only wish they were out in 2014-16 when Obama was president. Glad they are out now. I only wish they would put their homes and their wallets where there mouths are and open up their homes to these people and give them a place to live, eat, care for their young, and school their children. They should also have a collection center to raise $$ and clothing for these people. Protesting is good but lead by example and open your homes.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jul 3, 18 4:54 PM
What a weird demand. Do you think prolife folks should be required to sign up as foster parents.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 3, 18 5:15 PM
Please. Do you expect the families to live on the streets? They need $$, food to eat. They need help and if these protesters are for helping they should open their homes. Each protester can probably fit 2 to 3 families. How many have you opened you home to? Or with you is it "not in my neighborhood"? Let someone else take care of them?
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jul 3, 18 5:24 PM
You failed to answer the question: do you think people who oppose abortion should similarly bear the cost of their advocacy by being required to sign up as foster or adoptive parents?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 3, 18 5:31 PM
ABSOLUTELY. Now how many are you taking in??? Or are you a FRAUD?
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jul 3, 18 5:34 PM
What a strange thing to believe. I don't share that belief.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 3, 18 5:43 PM
Of course you don't. Why am I not surprised. There must be 300 protesters there. If each one took one or two families in, feed them, provided medical care, sponsorships, schooling, they would not have to live in tents or in the woods, or deplorable government housing. you don't even have to take them in you could rent them a room in a local hotel and provide monthly cash so they can live. But NO- not in "your back yard". These people need care, housing, jobs, if you re protesting you should be helping.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jul 3, 18 5:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
You're assuming lots of things, among them that anyone immigrating to the U.S. is a freeloader.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 4, 18 8:41 AM
No not assuming any is a freeloader. They are not asking for anything outside of a chance to make it here. That being said, and you have not answered the question, Where should they live? Eat? Work? School their children? Should they pitch tents or live in the woods until they get enough money to buy them houses, cars, food? If you and these protestors are talking the talk you should walk the walk and open your-their houses and wallets or offer something else to help these people. Possibly offer ...more
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jul 4, 18 10:07 AM
You want me to specify how all of the recent arrivals in the US should meet their basic needs? That seems like an overly broad question with lots of different answers for each particular person.

I also don't understand what that has to do with the article, which was specifically about a protest opposing family separations at the border.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 4, 18 10:26 AM
I'm curious.......why didn't Christina Casey organize this protest in Quogue where she lives?
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jul 3, 18 5:14 PM
Hug a ICE agent today...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Jul 3, 18 5:15 PM
2 members liked this comment
Lee Zeldin will lose his sear this fall. The Trump Chump is gone. Don 't expect
him and his pals Criminal Sebb Gorka, Lyin Sean Spicer, Cheatin Jason Miller-
Headliners at his Smithtown Fundraiser - to go the the border to see brown
children reunited with their parents. These are old fat white men who don't give a crap about Latinos. Bye Bye Little Lee. Just keep on sunning yourself at Montauk with your united family., Latest survey; Lee - minus 6. DEMS TAKE BACK NY01. (Little
Lee ...more
By allpeoplecount (69), eastport on Jul 4, 18 4:05 AM
There is simply no upside to Illegal immigration for the USA.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jul 4, 18 7:34 AM
Well there is the potential for a lot of future Democrat voting free stuffers.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jul 4, 18 7:47 AM
LOTP dude.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 5, 18 9:28 PM
Even France is showing the strain of immigration...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Jul 4, 18 9:11 AM
Hey knitter, check where all the refugees are coming from. Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. That’s where the majority from. I wonder what those countries all have in common.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jul 5, 18 9:23 PM
Aww. The social justice warriors demand we give illegals access to all sorts of freebies. How about we take care of our own for a change?
By Moral Dolphin (50), Southampton on Jul 8, 18 1:24 AM
Who's talking about "freebies"? Can you specify what you mean by "freebies"?

The Heart of the Hamptons is a great organization; if you know anyone in need, this is where I'd refer them. Turns out we do a pretty good job taking care of "our own."
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 8, 18 2:06 AM
1 member liked this comment