Dozens rally to support immigrants in New Milford
NEW MILFORD — About 60 activists and faith leaders rallied in support of immigrant families in the heart of New Milford last Saturday afternoon.
Inside the community center at St. John’s Episcopal Church on the town green, sheltered from the summer heat, rally-goers railed against recent immigration arrests throughout the greater Danbury area and a federal crackdown on immigration at the country’s southern border.
“The immigration issue isn’t one that is only at our borders,” rally organizer Terra Volpe said. “It is in every state, including our own, and it is in every community, including this one. It’s not just about refugees ... it includes everyone who is an immigrant.”
The rally follows a slew of protests across the state and country in recent weeks but is the first such event in New Milford, said Volpe, who is president of the progressive Action Together Connecticut group.
The crowd spanned generations and denominations, with some rally-goers in their early teens and others in their late 70s, some from Christian congregations and others from Temple Shalom New Milford.
The Rev. Jack Gilpin of St. John’s and Rabbi Ari Rosenberg of Temple Shalom both spoke out against the Trump administration’s policy that has separated more than 2,000 immigrant children from their parents when they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
“This is a rally for humanity and I just keep coming to that place where I think of the inhumanity of what is going on,” Gilpin said. “It just seems so blatant.”
The rally followed a ruling by a federal judge in Bridgeport that the separation of two immigrant children from their parents at the border was unconstitutional, and two high-profile Immigrations and Customs Enforcement arrests in Danbury in the past week.
On Thursday morning, Danbury Police turned over Denisson Rodriguez to ICE agents after he was caught speeding, and officers discovered he was subject to an immigration detainer for a final deportation order.
A week earlier, Samuel Cruz-Coctecon was hit by a car on White Street while fleeing ICE agents who had been waiting for him to appear for a hearing at the Danbury Superior Court.
CT Students For A Dream leader Angelica Idrovo blasted local officials during the rally Saturday for cooperating with the federal authorities.
“ICE cruelty takes place not only at the border but right here in our hometowns,” she said. “ICE is chasing people out of courthouses and detaining people for traffic tickets.
“Their sole purpose is to terrorize us. The immigrant community will not leave in peace and have dignity until we abolish ICE,” she added.