This photo of Pablito in sanctuary is via freeloosedirt on Flickr
Scores of children will join the ranks of political activists on Saturday, at an immigrant rights’ vigil in midtown. The event, co-sponsored by the New Sanctuary Movement and Families for Freedom will call for the passage of a law that could keep deportable immigrants and their kids together.
The proposed Child Citizen Protection Act would allow immigration judges to take into account the interests of U.S.-citizen children during deportation proceedings against their parents. Currently, judges cannot weigh an immigrant’s family ties to the U.S. when ruling on a deportation order.
Among those planning to speak is Jean Montrevil, a Haitian immigrant facing deportation who was recently profiled by the Voice this month.
Though he entered the U.S. legally, he was issued a deportation order after a 1989 cocaine conviction, but the government did not act on that order until recently. Now, he faces lifelong exile to Haiti, and separation from his four U.S.-citizen children and his U.S.-citizen wife.
The Child Citizen Protection Act has strong support in New York: It was introduced in the house by Bronx congressman José Serrano and the New York City Council passed a resolution in support of the bill last month. Now, local activists are calling for Senator Chuck Schumer to pledge his support, as well, and introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
The vigil will start at 11:30 a.m. in front of Senator Schumer’s office at 757 Third Avenue at 47th Street.