NEW YORK – US Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen were met on Tuesday in New York with protests against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families at the border with Mexico.
The protest, called by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), took place outside a federal office where Pence and Nielsen were attending a cybersecurity forum.
Among the demonstrators demanding the reuniting of children with their parents was Isabel Leyva, an ACLU organizer who recalled that her father, an architect, came to the US from Mexico as an undocumented immigrant when he was 25.
She said her father would never been awarded legal residency or later obtain US citizenship under the Trump administration.
“My father was very poor and had nothing when he got here. And he’s fighting for these families because he knows how hard it is to come here,” she said, adding that now President Donald Trump “looks at the color of a person’s skin and not at the person” under his immigration policy.
Trump’s policy of “zero tolerance” of illegal immigration separated close to 3,000 minors from their parents, though it was finally suspended in mid-June because of the barrage of criticism it aroused.
Following a court order, 1,634 minors were reunited with their parents, family members or friends, but the future of another 700 youngsters remains uncertain because they are still separated from their parents.