New York protesters face the heat to decry ICE practices

Thousands of people marched down the streets of New York City and across the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies.

Kevin Hagen/AP
Thousands of protesters march during a rally against the Trump administration's immigration policies in New York on June 2, 2018.

Protesters in President 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 (ICE) agency and suggestions of hypocrisy among politicians who support Mr. Trump's policies and stress family values.

There were celebrity marchers, including comedian Amy Schumer and star of ABC's "Scandal" Kerry Washington, who said the country was in a "time of immense crisis," and an Episcopal priest who declared 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 Ms. Lakshmi, who emigrated to the US 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 to Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn, near the federal courthouse, in 90-degree heat.

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: 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.

Karthik Ganapathy of MoveOn, one of the organizers, said 30,000 people marched in New York City. Police said there were no arrests.

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.

"We're living in a time of such immense crisis that we all have to be speaking out for each other," Ms. Washington told The Associated Press. "You can no longer sit in your isolated bubble and say, 'here's the one problem that's impacting me,' " she said. "We are all being attacked daily by this administration."

Washington said Trump's immigration policies were a "travesty" and a "gross violation of human rights" and called for the end of family detention and the swift reunification of children and their parents.

She said Trump's rhetoric on the subject has echoed his attacks on other minority groups. "They're coming after all of us," Washington said. "If we fight for this democracy and our ability to have a voice and protect each other, then we might save each other."

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

"Jesus was a refugee," 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."

This story was reported by The Associated Press. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.