Hours after President Donald Trump said he would end the policy of separating families at the border — an order he implemented — children separated from their families arrived in New York. According to several news reports, last night more than 200 children arrived at La Guardia Airport from Texas.
I’m at LaGuardia airport in NYC. Youth & children separated from their families are landing in terminal B taken to shelters in Westchester & LI. @AmericanAir must stop enabling Trump’s deportation force. #FreedomForImmigrants #AbolishICE pic.twitter.com/1YsmKj7c6R
— Cristina Jiménez (@CrisAlexJimenez) June 21, 2018
It remains unclear where the children will be placed, but according to Spectrum NY1 News, about 70 will be sheltered in New York.
Hundreds of people gathered at the airport, holding signs of support to the children. Many of the signs were in Spanish and read “los queremos” and “estamos con ustedes,” which translates to “we love you” and “we are with you.” Some people also sang “We “Shall Overcome” and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around,” according to CNN.
The crowd size at LaGuardia Terminal B is now in the hundreds as people gather to witness and monitor the arrival of kids who were separated from their families #FamiliesBelongTogether #FreedomforImmigrants pic.twitter.com/WHH7vpeCWF
— ACLU (@ACLU) June 21, 2018
“How is it possible that none of us knew that there were 239 kids right here in our own city?” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio asked during a press conference yesterday, according to New York magazine. “How is the federal government holding back that information from the people of this city and holding back the help these kids could need?”
“This is what solidarity looks like.” Right now at LaGuardia. Our tax dollars have funded the terrorization of families seeking refuge. Let’s keep showing up people #FamilesBelongTogether pic.twitter.com/hoiU8cwA6K
— Baratunde (@baratunde) June 21, 2018
Various videos on Twitter show some of the children arriving at the airport. One video a group of seven boys in dark hoodies get inside an undisclosed white van. In another, a group of about 5 young girls walk around the streets of Harlem with a guardian and enter a city shelter only to be taken to another location later.
“My heart was broken tonight when I was following one of the kids that landed about 8:45 p.m.” Cristina Jimenez, founder of United We Dream, said. “He seemed disoriented and he was really scared. I spoke to him in Spanish and I told him ‘I love you, we’re with you.”
While Trump said they would stop separating families, the parents who enter the country illegally will still be processed in the system. The children who have been separated from their families, however, most likely will not be reunited with their families.