On Father’s Day, immigrant advocates protest at ICE detention center in New Jersey
ELIZABETH, NJ — It took nearly two hours for 7 congressional members to be allowed entry into this ICE detention facility in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
“This is a perfect example of the disorganization that they have, this happens here and all over the country.”
On Sunday, Democratic Congressional members visited 5 immigration detainees separated from their children and families at the border.
These lawmakers have been visiting detention facilities since the Trump administration announced its “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
They say that has resulted in about 2,000 children separated from their families over a six-week period ending in May.
Meanwhile, more than 500 people gathered outside the facility in protest.
“It’s Father’s Day, dammit, and you have a right to talk to your children, and you don’t even know where your children are, that’s unacceptable,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr.
Among the families separated by this “zero tolerance” policy is the Edralin family – who visited their detained father.
“It was kind of emotional, I mean, it was hard to keep in my tears, it’s just a lot for me to take in,” said daughter Nicole.
47-year-old Cloyd Edralin, green card holder for 30 years was detained by ICE at his home early this month – 11 years after serving probation for a third-degree gun offense.
“They’re humans, every one of us are human, and what you are doing is inhumane, just across the board, documented, undocumented families are being destroyed, ripped apart and it’s disgusting,” says his wife Brandi.
“I don’t think, personally, green card holders should be detained, period,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler.
In a tweet, President Donald Trump continues to point finger at Democrats for “a weak and ineffective border security and crime.”
Doubling down on his claim that these children are being used by some criminals to enter the US.
But congressional members say there is no law mandating the separation of children and parents at the border.
Democratic lawmakers say they will introduce legislation on Tuesday to end this Trump policy of separating families, documented or undocumented.