New Jersey, June 27: In the run up to the June 30th nation-wide rally #KeepFamiliesTogether the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey organized a rally where hundreds of people packed the street outside the Elizabeth Detention Center on Father’s Day to stress that families belong together.
On Monday night the ACL-New Jersey members rallied along with MPower Change and CAIR-NJ to denounce the Muslim Ban decision at the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson
This is to be followed by a community forum on Thursday at Masjid Al Wali in to talk about the effects of the Muslim Ban decision and help ACLU plan next steps in its wake.
Legal and legislative action:
The ACLU is representing the people who have been separated from their children at the border in a class-action suit, and locally, with NYCLU, also representing a father of two who went for a scheduled green card interview and left in ICE custody. His temporary deportation was on Friday last halted in order to ensure his case can proceed in court.
As a forward measure, the ACLU New Jersey budget will allocate a total of $2.1 million to create a legal representation program for people in detention facing deportation. The group plans to seek further funding to help everyone jailed by ICE in need of legal assistance.
Coming down on the Trump administration’s decision to replace one cruel family detention policy with another, New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy has issued a powerful order stating that no state resources will be used to separate families solely because of immigration violations. The ACLU-NJ will further be working with the administration on even stronger protections, and seek the help of citizens efforts to turn these aspirations to reality.
Mobilizing and working in coalition: The ACLU’s People Power is a grassroots platform with information on the latest actions, protests, and trainings happening across the country in this regard. It is also gearing up for the big push on Saturday, June 30, in communities throughout NJ to press for action so that movement gains further momentum.
The ACLU is working together with the First Friends of NJ/NY and the Reformed Church of Highland Park, so that they can help enlist volunteers to arrange visits with people held in detention. Speaking to TIO the ACLU of NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha, said, it was imperative for all those who feel strongly about the Muslim Ban and the separation of families to come together and unite to oppose these movements that were sure to break the very fabric of American ideals of equality, racial tolerance and justice apart. “It’s time we spoke up and expressed our opposition to the same,” he added.