The White Plains Examiner

‘Justice Monday’ Rally Supports Immigrant Protection

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The Justice Monday movement in White Plains attracted about 200 people this week in support of the Westchester Democratic Caucus’ Immigration Protection Act.

By Anna Young – Westchester residents and local organizations assembled Monday afternoon in White Plains in support of civil and human rights protesting President Donald Trump’s executive order to restrict travel by refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Carrying signs saying, “Keep families together,” and chanting slogans such as “No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here,” close to 200 local residents gathered at the Renaissance Plaza fountain standing together in support of The Immigration Protection Act.

The Westchester Democratic Caucus recently sponsored the Immigration Protection Act at the Board of Legislature, an act that would prevent county resources from being used for federal immigration enforcement policies.

Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining) believes enacting this bill will reduce the terror that is felt by legal and undocumented immigrants in Westchester County who feel they have to stay hidden.

“Working all together is the way to make us safe, not to have a militarized police force that rounds people up based on what they believe, by the way a person looks or by what their last name is,” Borgia said at the Feb. 20 demonstration.

While Borgia is confident the bill will pass, she anticipates County Executive Rob Astorino will veto the measure.

The White Plains protest began as part of the Justice Monday movement, an effort that Westchester for Change, a group of community activists who work for progressive, social and political change, started as a way to stand up against bigotry, racism, misogyny, and marginalization of any people in the country.

“We are here on President’s Day because the president has to follow the law and the constitution,” Susan Van Dolsen, member of Westchester for Change said.

As protestors waved their signs taking turns speaking, passing cars honked their horns in solidarity.

“We must be vigilant, our strongest weapon is our ability to hold our elected officials to account with our vote,” said Myra Saul, member of Westchester for Change, who added that no elected official, not even the president is above the law.

“All men and woman are created equal, our allegiance is not to an individual but to the founding ideals of our country,” Laurie Puhn Feinstein, Founder of Not in Our Towns: Westchester United Against Hate, said before leading attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Feinstein added that we’re in a universe we have never been in before and if we don’t have officials at the local level protecting it’s constituents, we’re going to face serious consequences.

Zeltzyn Sanchez, member of Sustainable Port Chester Alliance agreed stating, as a Mexican immigrant we deserve rights and families in Westchester and all over the county need to be kept together.

“The only way to make America great is to encourage those who we’ve always encouraged by our ideals and those ideals are what make us,” Majorie Miller said. “We have no one single national background, the rest of us are all immigrants from somewhere and that’s what’s made American great.”

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