Dozens rallied Tuesday, June 19, at the Melville offices of U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — thanking them for their co-sponsorship of the Keep Families Together Act — while also denouncing the cruel White House policy of family separation.
Dr. Eve Krief, a Centerport pediatrician, spoke to the crowd, saying, “It doesn’t take a pediatrician to know that taking children away from their parents is wrong,” Newsday wrote.
“If we are going to have the Statue of Liberty standing in our harbor in this country, we might as well tear it down right now,” Krief continued. “The words on the Statue of Liberty say that we welcome the huddled masses… yearning to breathe free. But right now we are having government-sanctioned child abuse.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters an estimated 700 separated children have been roped into the White House’s zero-tolerance policy and are in the care of foster services in New York State. There are eight children who have been separated from their families who are staying at the MercyFirst group home in Long Island.
The widespread denunciation of family separation has caused a wave of mobilization throughout the nation powerful enough to shame President Trump into damage control by issuing on Wednesday an executive order appearing to reverse the policy.
The Melville rally was followed by actions around the country on Wednesday, which was also World Refugee Day. Advocates, civil rights groups, and teachers also demonstrated and marched to the United Nations in Manhattan to deliver a formal complaint to the world body.
“What is being said in the media, that these are Christian principles, is false,” the Rev. Tamara Razzano of the First Presbyterian Church in upstate Little Falls told the Melville crowd, Newsday reported.
“There is nothing, nothing in the New Testament that says this is what we are supposed to be doing,” she said. “We are actually told to do the exact opposite. Love your neighbor as yourself… if someone came up and ripped your child from you, that is not loving.”