Header Image

CPD In the News

| Building an Immigrant Justice Initiative
Published By:Queens Chronicle

Many residents stand against Donald Trump

Queens residents have been among the thousands protesting President-elect Trump in Manhattan since the election.

“It was a rally and a march called together primarily by immigrants rights groups to provide a space for immigrant communities, people that are undocumented to be able to raise up the voices and the perpsectives of immigrant communities,” DRUM — South Asian Organizing Center Executive Director Fahd Ahmed told the Chronicle, adding that Sunday’s march would not be the last that they attend.

According to the immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York, more than 15,000 immigrant New Yorkers and their supporters attended the event.

“Well, basically we were marching because we will not tolerate the hate agenda, we’re here to stay and we reject that,” Ozone Park resident Julissa Bisono said. “We want to make sure that New York City continues to be a sanctuary for immigrant families and that’s why we decided to march yesterday, to make sure that President-elect Trump hears our message.”

Kenneth Shelton, a St. John’s University student, organized the march on Saturday from Union Square to Trump Tower with the news outlet BlackMatters US.

“It was just for people to vent their frustration, get out there and protest but also to show that we’re unified,” Shelton said. “We need to organize ourselves into a movement socially, politically and economically.”

“We reject his hate and refuse to live in constant fear under a president who does not regard us as human,” Queens resident Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, said in a prepared statement. “[Sunday’s] rally and march marks our first, though certainly not last, line of resistance against Trump’s brutal anti-immigrant regime.”

Queens is believed to have more unauthorized immigrants than any other borough, nearly 250,000, who could face deportation.

“The immigrant communities here, they’re real hard-working families and they’re scared,” Bisono said.

According to Bisono, there is a serious fear among immigrants that they could be harmed after last week’s election.

“We had kids that came who didn’t even go to school because they were afraid to not come back the next day,” she said. “We shouldn’t be living in fear.”

For people who feel like they may be threatened by the Trump administration, the protests were an opportunity to stand in solidarity with others who are as worried.

Ahmed, whose group is based in Jackson Heights and used to be called Desis Rising Up and Moving, said that the protests are “to get people out of fear, to get them out of isolation and to build with each other.”

Although Trump has urged his supporters to not hurt others and commit hate crimes, those have spiked nationwide in the days following his election victory.

“The large number of people that came to these actions have been black communities, Latino communities — the people explicitly being told that they need to watch out and will be targeted,” Ahmed said.

By Ryan Brady