Over 100 protest immigration policy in New Paltz

(Photo by Al Alexsa)

Well over a hundred people rallied in front of Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz yesterday as part of a nationwide set of protests against the separation of immigrant families at the border. The chanting, cheering, placard-waving crowd spilled over to two other corners of that intersection, with groups also in front of Chase Bank and on the corner by P&G’s.

Other local rallies and marches took place in Kingston, Woodstock, Rhinebeck and Beacon.

While the broader effort to organize marches and rallies was bolstered by a loose coalition of progressive groups, New Paltz has a solid core of protesters in the Women in Black for Peace and Justice, who have stood vigil every Saturday on this corner since November 2001. According to Barbara Upton, one of the group’s leaders, this is the third week running that they’ve focused on family separation. The national activity, in addition to local organizing, made this a larger-than-usual action for the group.

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As drivers honked in support as they passed by, protesters whooped and cheered in response. Between those moments, activists passionate about the subject belted out chant after chant in the 90-degree heat, keeping participants engaged and involved. While many lined the sidewalks, a number bore witness from the shade of trees a few feet away, making their position clear by their presence.

Upton said that this action was built on three demands: ending family separation, family detention, and the zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal immigration, which she called the “zero humanity policy” instead. “Little children are ripped from their parents and put in cages,” said Upton “Two-thirds of Americans want an end to it. [President] Trump says he’s going to replace it with family detention, but that’s no solution.” They’re opposed to zero-tolerance as well, because refugees have the right to seek asylum and deserve due process.

Instead, Upton said, the president is “criminalizing parents and deporting them without their kids.”

She was particularly gratified by the high turnout because among those in attendance were a group of so-called “dreamers,” children brought illegally to this country who are now seeking the right to stay since it’s the only home they’ve ever known. “They lit up” at the support, she said, perhaps a rare moment for young people whose lives are in legal limbo.

Gabriella Quinanila is director of Adelante Student Voices, and as such works with undocumented high school students living in rural and small towns around the state. She and the students “came here to heal ourselves,” she said, and “express the anger” over current immigration policy which casts their future in such doubt. “I’m feeling glad we were a part of this,” she said.

An activist who only identified herself as Tashawna wasn’t as thrilled as Upton by the turnout, saying, “I wish more of the people who honk as they drive by would stop and join us.” Between picking up the bullhorn to lead chants such as “love not hate makes America great” and “vote them out,” she said she is from an immigrant family and hopes others will stand up and fight against people “being treated like animals.” The goal, she said, is to change hearts and minds. She concluded, “It’s called a revolution.”

There are 24 comments

    1. fitz

      It’s not really a Trump or Obama policy. The administrations are bound by laws passed by Congress and court rulings on those laws, which have been different at different times over the last few years. What can’t be denied is the Trump admin. upping enforcement as a deterrent, which resulted in a sharp increase in family separations.

      1. Kim

        A law

        “Illegal” is by definition not here legally, we don’t need people who broke the law to get here. We need those who come legally.

        1. fitz

          Yes, obviously. But this isn’t about what’s legal or illegal, it’s about how families are detained while waiting for their day in court. The commenters here (yourself included) would rather attack the “open borders” strawman than contribute a meaningful insight into the actual issue.

  1. taxes are way too high

    This wouldn’t be a problem if these immigrants just followed the rules. Apply for immigration at the US embassy in their country.

  2. Here is the cost

    They are bleeding us dry.

    1. $11 Billion to $22 Billion is spent on welfare to illegal immigrants each year by state governments.
    Verify At:
    http://www.fairus.org/site/Pag eServer?pagename=iic_immigrat i onissuecenters7fd8

    2. $22 Billion dollars a year is spent on food Assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal immigrants.
    Verify At:
    < http://www.cis.org/articles/ 20 04/fiscalexec.HTML
    The High Cost of Cheap Labor | Center for Immigration Studies
    www.cis.org
    About the Author Steven A. Camarota is Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C. He holds a master's degree in political science .

    3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal immigrants.
    Verify At:
    http://www.cis.org/articles/20 04/fiscalexec.HTML
    The High Cost of Cheap Labor | Center for Immigration Studies
    www.cis.org
    About the Author Steven A. Camarota is Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C. He holds a master's degree in political science .

    4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on Primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English!
    Verify At:
    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRA NscriptS/0604/01/ldt…0.HTML

    5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for Education for the American-born Children of illegal immigrants, known as Anchor babies.
    Verify At:
    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRA NscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML
    < http://transcripts.cnn.com/T RA NscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML

    6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal immigrants.
    Verify At:
    http://transcripts.cnn.com/%20 TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HT M L
    7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison Inmates are illegal immigrants.
    Verify At:
    https://owa.slugger.com/owa/Ur lBlockedError.aspx

    8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on Illegal immigrants for Welfare & Social Services by the American taxpayers.
    Verify At:
    http://premium.cnn.com/TRANSCI PTS/0610/29/ldt.01.HTML

    9. $200 Billion dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal immigrants.
    Verify At:
    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRA NSCRI
    ;

    11. The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One million sex crimes committed By Illegal Immigrants In The United States ..
    Verify At:http:
    // www.drdsk.com/articleshtml
    http://www.drdsk.com/ articles h tml >

    THE TOTAL COST IS $338.3 BILLION A YEAR.

  3. Sondheim and Bernstein

    I like to be in America
    O.K. by me in America
    Everything free in America
    I like to be in America

    1. Kim

      Laws only for those of us here legally, illegals get free pass

      Free food, health care, ect.

      They don’t understand nothing is free but the cost doesn’t affect them since they don’t pay taxes

      1. Buchenwald

        I was standing with an illegal once when we got stopped by the police. The illegal shrugged his shoulders and told the cop “I don’t have I.D. because I am an undocumented farm worker.” Me? I got carded by the authorities. Made a mockery out of the legal immigration system then as it it does now.

  4. Kim

    So tired of pushing 1 for English,

    Any other country would arrest for being there illegally, we reward for breaking the law

    ENOUGH

  5. Steven L Fornal

    Here Is The Cost: Half your links give an error message. The first link to Federation For American Immigration Reform has an Access Denied message (intentional joke?). And the other links are proof of confirmation bias; you only include sources that agree (and, to be truthful, manufacture false data) with your POV.

    Valid study after study demonstrates that “illegal” immigrants contribute far more than they take.

    This whole immigration furor is about hiding the reality of declining living standards. Immigrants are being scapegoated to shield the economic policies that have driven manufacturing jobs out of America and have transferred TRILLIONS of dollars to the top one percent via taxation. It’s a cover for infrastructure failures and to hide the fact that TRILLIONS have been thieved from Social Security (not to mention the unaccounted $21 TRILLION at the Pentagon).

    Hate is an easy commodity to sell. But it only buys more misery.

    1. conserevative

      Only taxpayers work on sat to pay these liberals.

      Thier protest is meanlingless and a joke.

      They have no power but to walk in front of the libray than to the bar to drink. Thats about all it is.

      This protest has zero effect on Trump who holds executive authority and will detain and seperate familes and children as prescribed by law. when You break the law and get detiained your kids get taken away. Immigration law is reality.

  6. ALT RIGHT NPZ

    SWEEP NEW PALTZ OF ILLEGIAL IMMIGRANTS,

    WERE WATCHING LOOKING AND REPORTING.

    PHOTOGRAPH AND REPORT ILLEGIAL IMMIGRANTS IMMEDITALY.

    ICE HOT LINE:
    1-866-DHS-2ICE
    866 347 2423

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