Government

Elected Officials Join Dozens Protesting Trump’s Immigration Policies in Elizabeth; 4 People Arrested

cf5bab23e8bf512b8cb2_8bc83d3a5fba0e278928_unnamed__1_.jpg
Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Raymond Lesniak wait to speak to the crowd. Credits: Fran Sullivan
4e7c4a8ed505b6466330_unnamed__2_.jpg
7e0cd9ac182d27e9c0ef_unnamed__5_.jpg
7f2a4f0d1ea21bcbd908_unnamed.jpg
cf5bab23e8bf512b8cb2_8bc83d3a5fba0e278928_unnamed__1_.jpg

ELIZABETH, NJ – Dozens of protesters rallied in front of the Elizabeth Detention Center Thursday morning, in an event that culminated in four arrests in an overall peaceful demonstration sparked by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials’ attempt to arrest an Elizabeth woman, Feb. 17.

The four who were arrested, one of whom was carried out, staged a sit down in the road in front of a banner reading Resist No More Deportations. The Detention Center, which is privately run by the Corrections Corporation of America, houses approximately 300 inmates. It has become what one of the organizers called “a lightning rod” for these demonstrations.  

The incident that prompted the demonstration occurred last Friday when ICE agents attempted to arrest a woman from a home on Broad Street. When there was no answer, the agents requested the help of Elizabeth police. Two officers responded and found that the woman in question was not home.

Sign Up for E-News

Today’s rally was organized by several organizations, Make the Road, Blue Wave,  Wind of the Spirit, New Jersey Working Families and Faith in New Jersey. Members from the labor union 32BJ SEIU marched in as a group, chanting in Spanish.

Several audience members spoke to the crowd. “I am now a criminal because I don’t have documents,” Aracolis Hidalgo said through an interpreter. “I am afraid. I want them to stop the raids and close the detention center.  What is happening is that our families are being broken apart.”

The organizers called for the City of Elizabeth to adopt an executive order  that would protect immigrants from being seized by ICE. “The mayor had the power to issue an executive order ,” said Amalilia Mejia, director of New Jersey Working Families. “Every Elizabeth resident should hold the mayor accountable and demand an executive order.”

Wednesday, in an interview with TAPinto Elizabeth, Mayor Bollwage addressed this issue with the following statement, ““Any outside agency that requests the help of Elizabeth police needs to present the warrant to the chief or the officer in charge and a decision will be made in reference to the assistance requested.”

The rally had the support of State Senator Raymond Lesniak and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, both of whom are running for governor, Freeholders Bruce Bergen and Bette Jane Kowalski, and Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau. All spoke to the crowd.

“We are the place where people go when they are unable to exist in their own country,” said Wisniewski.

Added Lesniak, “Mass deportations are un-American. It is not healthy for America. Get rid of the criminals in a heartbeat, but these are hardworking resident s of our community. They pay taxes. They obey the law, and they should not be torn away from their families, many of whom are American citizens.”

Freeholder chair Bruce Bergen pledged the support of the Board. Recalling his great grandparents who emigrated from Eastern Europe, he said, “Since then my family has lived the American dream. Those entering the country today deserve the same opportunity without the fear of having their families ripped apart for no legitimate reason, a chance to become citizens. That is all that most people want. The current administration in Washington has chosen to turn its back on 200 years of history of this country, establishing the U.S. as a nation of immigrants. This has led to the greatness that our country is. We must continue to fight for equality and opportunity for all. The Union County Freeholders continue to stand by the many immigrants that live in our county. We have and will continue to condemn the policies that are discriminatory, retaliatory or involve illegal detention.”

Added Freeholder Kowalski, “We need to all work together to protect immigrants. We are all immigrants. We cannot split up families. Here in Union County, our goal is to keep families together and protect all the immigrants who make up the beautiful, diverse  mosaic of Union County. With all of us together we can win this.”

Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau came to the podium changing, “Chanted “Stop Trump tyranny. We have been working with Make the Road and other organizations to make sure our diverse community is safe and that nobody, nobody regardless of where they come from, whether they are documented or undocumented, are ever marginalized in our community ever. They are protected. They are cared for. We love each other. We are here in unity, and the only way this is going to be successful is if our voices continue to be unified no matter how many different languages we speak. We have to speak it together. It is about peace and justice and human rights.”

This is the second rally, the first taking place Monday in front of City Hall, to take place in the city this week. After the rally at the Detention Center, the group then traveled to Congressman Leonard Lance’s office in Westfield.

Friday, Feb.24, The Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Reform and Federal Relations Committee will receive testimony from invited guests, such as ACLU, Working Families Alliance, Seton Hall University’s immigrants’ rights clinic, Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services, Wind of the Spirit, American Friends Service Committee, Interfaith RISE, and Deportation & Immigration Response to Emergencies (D.I.R.E)., on the impact of the Trump administration’s executive orders on immigration and immigration enforcement. The hearing will be streamed live at: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_70c3726c05e39d4b59a1_covenant_place_1

Wed, June 27, 10:00 AM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Senior Space

Education Health & Wellness

Mayor Mapp: Reunir las familias

June 24, 2018

Hay momentos en la historia en los que seremos juzgados no por nuestras acciones, sino por la falta de acción. Si la historia nos ha enseñado algo, es que no podemos quedarnos callados esperando que otros hablen por nosotros; luchar por lo bien siempre ha requerido voces altas, una llama, unidad de propósito, y tenacidad.

En los últimos meses, hemos visto acciones ...

Murphy Signs Bill Ending Child Marriage Championed by Westfield’s Fraidy Reiss and Unchained at Last

June 23, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill Friday that bars individuals under the age of 18 from marrying or entering a civil union. It was a major win for Fraidy Reiss, founder Westfield-based Unchained At Last, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women and girls in the US to escape or resist arranged/forced marriages and rebuild their lives.

This makes New Jersey the second ...

SRO'S - ENSEÑANDO POR EJEMPLO

June 17, 2018

Hay un grupo de oficiales de policía que les dan un servicio a nuestra comunidad de una manera notable. Todos los días estos hombres y mujeres se levantan, van al trabajo, y aseguran que nuestros hijos aprendan en un ambiente seguro. Los llamamos Oficiales de Recursos Escolares, pero son mucho más. 

Si llegas a la oficina de los Oficiales de Recursos Escolares en la ...

Meet Toran Smith: Union County All Star

June 18, 2018

Plainfield resident, Toran Smith, age 16, has been selected to play on the 2018 Union County underclassmen all star team.  On June 10th, the Union County All-Stars played against the Hudson County All-Stars at Kean University.  Smith played third baseman. 

Smith, a junior at Union County Vo-Tech magnet high school, is a Junior infielder on the Plainfield Cardinals Varsity ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)

 

I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a suspenseful thriller. However, when I finished reading the first part of the Into the Water, I realized that I had not absorbed anything that was happening in the story. I blamed myself for not paying ...