Community Leaders and Residents Rallied to Reunite Immigrant Children With Their Families

Kingston, NY — The Kingston community joined nationwide ‘Lights for Liberty’ protests tonight to rally against the inhumane and dehumanizing conditions at immigration detention camps. Tin Horn Uprising led the community in resistance songs, protestors silently held candles in the darkness to shine a light on the atrocities happening in detention facilities and local leaders were joined by faith leaders and impacted residents in front of Kingston City Hall.

“As a grassroots organization that fights for disempowered communities through a racial justice lens, we stand in solidarity with those being unjustly held in detention camps and suffering the Trump administration’s human rights abuses. We stand with all immigrants and asylum seekers in the recognition that our nation exports violence and racism across our borders and is responsible for much of the very strife and turmoil causing families to flee their homes and seek refuge in the first place,” said Fanon Frazier, Community Organizer at Citizen Action of New York’s Hudson Valley Chapter.

“We are heartbroken and enraged by the immoral, illegal detention of our community, children and adults alike, by the abhorrent conditions of these camps, and by the Trump administration’s racist disregard for human rights and dignity. We are dismayed at the lack of real action by our elected officials. We will continue to fight for justice, equality and dignity for all,” said Marjorie Leopold, Board Member for the Jewish Voice for Peace’s Hudson Valley Chapter.

“For far too long, our country has allowed unchecked state sanctioned violence against communities of color. We are a country that tortures people in juvenile detention centers, jails, prisons and concentration camps. From police to immigration enforcement, those who enforce racist and unjust laws in our country must be stopped, and we the people have the responsibility to stop them,” said Callie Jayne, Founder and Executive Director of Rise Up Kingston.

“’Do unto others as you would have done unto you’ is a simple truth that seems to have been forgotten. The callous disregard for human dignity displayed by the Trump Administration’s establishment of these concentrations camps and conditions intended to dehumanize those seeking our nation’s protection, is a moment in the looking-glass  that reflects the worst America has to offer xenophobia, prejudice and racism. While there are many who are complacent or even content with this image, people of conscience reject it and will continue the fight to change it,” said Rashida Tyler, Co-Founder of Kingston Tenants Union, and State Board Member of Citizen Action of New York’s Hudson Valley Chapter.  

“The Administration’s immigrant detention policy and its treatment of detainees is a human rights and child abuse crisis that must be actively and loudly opposed by all Americans,” said Patricia Grossman, Board Member of Woodstock Immigrant Support.

“These concentration camps need to end. Children should never be in cages. Congress needs to use all the power it has to go against this racism. As an immigrant-led organization, we will fight back and make sure these children reunite with their families,” said Diana Lopez, Ulster County Organizer for Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson.

“The Ulster Immigrant Defense Network and its affiliated churches, synagogues, and community organizations are appalled at the cruel and inhuman abuse of vulnerable human beings at our borders. We join with others to insist that no human being is illegal, that no child should go without food and shelter, and that decency and justice must be the guiding principles of our nation’s response to immigration,” said Kate Vanbaren, Board Member of The Ulster Immigrant Defense Network.

“Ulster Activists (UAct) brings together concerned citizens working to protect human rights and the environment. Because of this mission, we are compelled to oppose the human rights violations against immigrants and asylum seekers underway in the name of the United States and organize with other groups to raise awareness and, importantly, to actively support the groups providing direct assistance to these vulnerable populations,” said Leah Akins of Ulster Activists.