Brooklyn Heights

Lawyer Moms fight in Brooklyn to end Trump’s family detention policy

Velázquez calls for abolition of ICE

June 29, 2018 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Members of Lawyer Moms of America took to the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall on Friday to call for an end to the Trump administration’s family detention policies. Shown: Front row from left: (with hat) Anne Swern, District Leader 52 Assembly District; Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, Rep. Nydia Velázquez and human rights lawyer Payal Shaw. Eagle photo by Mary Frost
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New York City members of the non-partisan group Lawyer Moms of America took to the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall on Friday to demand an end to family detention and the reunification of more than 2,000 children taken from their parents under the Trump administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy.

“We got into this fight because we’re lawyers, because we’re moms, because we care … and we want to make sure that our country doesn’t stand for this type of barbaric practice. We also believe that children should not be pawns in a political game,” Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon ( D- Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill) said.

She added, “This is a humanitarian crisis, and it is up to Congress to save us.”

The group, as part of a nationwide campaign, delivered an open letter to Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn Heights-Bushwick). Velázquez recently visited Texas to investigate children being held in detention centers, which she described as “like being in a jail in a third world country.”

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“We have been a beacon of hope around the world. And today it is painful to see the front covers of many world newspapers showing the faces of these children,” she said.

Velázquez said that on Friday she became an original co-sponsor of a bill asking for the abolition of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) “because it has become a terrorist force and the president created this crisis for no reason – just for a stupid wall.”

Many of the children are now being housed in approximately 100 facilities run by Health and Human Services, Velázquez told the Brooklyn Eagle.

“Many of those facilities in the past have been fined for health violations as well as the mistreatment of children,” she said.

Velázquez added, “The infrastructure wasn’t there — this president was not ready. He did this by impulse, like everything he’s doing, to destroy the democratic institutions of our country. We do not have trained personnel to deal with this crisis, we don’t have enough human capital to be deployed to all these centers to make sure that these children are getting mental health services or they are not mistreated. We cannot stand for this.”



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