NEW YORK-UNS – Over 75 members from DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), immigrant communities, and allies gathered outside of Senator Schumer’s office for a press conference and rally calling for the Senator to reject the racist principles behind Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda and to defund hate in the budget and spending bills.
On Friday, the Republicans pushed through the largest tax cuts for the rich and tax increases for the poor in U.S. history. Protestors highlighted that while the struggle against those tax changes continues, it was incumbent on Senator Schumer and the Democrats to now direct tax expenditures in the budget and the spending bill away from immigration enforcement and towards community needs.
Last week, the Senate Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill was released and proposed increasing funding for DHS, which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are under. Advocates demanded that Schumer publicly call for significant cuts in DHS funding and divest from agencies that tear apart our families and terrorize our communities.
MC of the program and DRUM organizer, Nayim asked “Is a Dream Act clean if we have all this enforcement in the budget? No! We are here to ask where Senator Schumer is at on these questions.”
DRUM member Sumaya spoke about the deportation of her father when she was young. “Imagine losing your father as a teenager because he was undocumented. We need Senator Schumer to take public commitment to cut ICE and enforcement.”
Rabbi Mira Rivera, from JFREJ (Jews for Racial and Economic Justice), highlighted the growing anti-immigrant sentiment across the country. She said, “our sense of right and moral has been torn apart. We need to stand for human values. We say nay, nay, nay to enforcement. We, as the Jewish Resistance, call on Senator Schumer to be a servant of the people!”
The action ended with protesters tearing down a wall they had made from cardboard to symbolize the tearing down of the border wall. Behind the wall, they uncovered a mural showing free healthcare, affordable housing, free education, and jobs for all. The protestors then tore money from the cardboard wall and out it in a bucket to be given to Senator Schumer’s office.
After the action, 4 people from DRUM met with the Deputy Immigration Director from Senator Schumer’s office, sharing their stories, and asking the Senator’s office to take meet the demands raised outside.