Photos: AAFE Co-Executive Director Jennifer Sun and staff at an immigration rally held Sept. 25, 2018 on the Lower East Side. 

There was a rally held Monday, Sept. 25 in front of the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side to protest the Trump Administration’s latest assault on immigrant families. It was organized by the New York Immigration Coalition. Here’s the statement read at the rally by AAFE Co-Executive Director Jennifer Sun:

Asian Americans for Equality stands together with advocates across the country to denounce the Trump administration’s latest attempt to demonize low-income people, and to pick and choose who can immigrate and pursue their dreams for greater opportunity in the United States. A proposed rule change announced Saturday by the Department of Homeland Security could prevent immigrants who use government services such as nutrition programs from obtaining permanent resident status. This change would go against the history of our country and our values of equal opportunity.  

At AAFE’s neighborhood offices on the Lower East Side and in Chinatown, in Flushing and Jackson Heights, Queens, and in Sunset Park, Brooklyn we have for many months been witnessing the detrimental effects of this administration’s immigration policies.

People are afraid. They’re fearful about asking for help, even when it means going without food and health care for their families. AAFE’s staff has even heard from members of the community too scared to call 911 during emergencies. Since the election of 2016, fewer people have been enrolling in AAFE’s civics, English language and citizenship classes, even though they want nothing more than to contribute to their communities — and to become American citizens.

Asian Americans for Equality is vehemently opposed to these new proposed  “public charge” rules. They would force parents to make  terrible choices between feeding, educating and housing their children and keeping their families together.

Rather than dividing our families and our communities, we urge this administration to make investments in education, workforce training, housing, healthcare and infrastructure. AAFE urges the Trump administration to recognize that our country is stronger when we stand together to build a compassionate, healthy, prosperous future for us all.