Dozens of immigrants, their supporters, and elected officials rallied Wednesday in front of Hartford’s federal courthouse, opposing the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin called on Congress to pass a “clean” Dream Act – one that does not use the protection of young immigrants as a way to bargain for other tough enforcement measures.
“I stand here proudly as mayor of a city that has been strengthened by immigration generation after generation,” said Bronin. “The answer here is a fair and a long overdue comprehensive immigration reform, including passage of the Dream Act – cleanly, without any poison pills.”
Mariano Cardoso, Jr., a resident of New Britain, told the crowd that his family has one week to stop his father’s deportation.
“His name is Mariano Cardoso, Sr. He has been here for 27 years. I know the immigration system is broken because they had me in prison. They had my father in prison. They had both of us in prison,” he said. “I’m undocumented, but I have a voice. No family should have to go through this.”
Among those attending was Chiedza Rodriguez. She’s from Puerto Rico and lives now in Hartford where she’s worked with undocumented high school kids.
“It’s not the individuals that are evil or wrong. We have made the laws to be set up in a way that are unjust,” she said. “To the other folks like myself, like Puerto Ricans per se, and now that we have so many also coming from the island. We have to leverage our privilege for those who don’t have it. So we have to speak up. Because if they’re coming for you today, they’re going to come for me tomorrow.”
Protesters also spoke out in support of immigrants with Temporary Protected Status.
The Hartford rally was one of two in Connecticut and part of a national mobilization called “Defend Our Immigrant Communities.”