Family Separation

Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times via USA TODAY NETWORK

'Families Belong Together' Rallies To Be Held On Long Island

June 29, 2018 - 3:29 pm

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (WCBS 880/AP) -- Hundreds are expected to gather at three separate protests across Long Island this weekend demanding children be reunited with their families after being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

About 500 people are expected at a rally in Huntington at the corner of Route 110 and Jericho Turnpike, said the organizer  Dr. Eve Krief.

"We're all coming together to demand the immediate reunification of these children with their parents," Krief said. "It's a policy that never should have been put in place in the first place. It was cruel and unjustified, and parents are bringing these children here just seeking safety for them (from) countries where they're afraid for their children's lives, and to arrest them as soon as they cross the border, take their children away, and throw them in jail is just inhumane."

Krief fears it may be too late for some families.

"A lot of these parents have already been deported, they're never going to see their children again, it's going to be impossible to reunite them. So what have we done to these children? We've essentially orphaned them, that's despicable," she said.

Therapist Sharon Golden from Together We Will Long Island said the effects of children being separated from their parents will last a lifetime.

"The  longer these children are kept away, they're worried about their parent -- Where are they? Are they ok? -- it's one of the questions the children are asking," Golden said.

The rally begins at 1 p.m. Two others will be held in Westbury and Rockville Center.

More than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents at the border in recent weeks, and some were placed in government-contracted shelters hundreds of miles away from their parents.

The president last week signed an executive order to halt the separation of families at the border, at least for a few weeks, but the order did not address the reunification of families already separated.

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered that thousands of migrant children and parents be reunited within 30 days — and sooner if the youngster is under 5. The order poses logistical problems for the administration, and it was unclear how it would meet the deadline.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)