New Yorkers have been standing in solidarity with immigrants and refugees from across the globe. In 2016, 40,000 individuals applied for asylum in New York City, as compared to 283 refugees who were resettled in the city. New IIHA intern and Humanitarian Studies student, Andrew Seger, captured some of these moments throughout the city.
Tens of thousands of New Yorkers met at JFK International Airport on January 28th, and gathered again in Battery Park on the 29th. They came from all over to show support for refugees and immigrants.
They joined in chants like, “Say it loud, say it clear: refugees are welcome here!,” and “Love, no hate! That’s what makes America great!”
Many called to mind America’s history as a country shaped immigrants. Many quoted “The New Colossus,” the poem inscribed at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty that says, “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
Fordham University student Neil Joyce, FCRH ’19, joined those in Battery Park.
“I believe that morally and constitutionally, we have a duty to allow these people into our country. They have a right to enter this country and pursue their dreams,” Joyce said.
Senators Chuck Schumer (NY) and Cory Booker (NJ), along with Mayor Bill de Blasio (NYC) and many other elected officials gave speeches in Battery Park.
“We cannot just luxuriate in our freedoms and our liberties; we must earn them by fighting to expand them to all citizens and all people,” Senator Booker said.
Even many children, on the backs of parents and in strollers, held up colorful signs at the rallies.
The overwhelming support continued on February 2nd, when the Yemeni American Community organized a rally in Brooklyn. The Community says near 1,000 Yemeni business owners closed their businesses early to show support for Yemenis at home and abroad.
Adnan Alshabbi, owner of Golden Deli in Washington Heights, closed the doors to his bodega for the first time in 25 years. He stood in solidarity with Yemeni’s across the world, including his family members who still live in Yemen.
Photo credit: Andrew Seger, IIHA Communications Intern