Patrick MoussignacJun 20, 2018, 12:18 pmJun 20, 2018, 12:19 pm

Civil rights activists protest separation of children in White Plains

Protesters: ‘All these people are asking for is protection’

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WHITE PLAINS – Human and civil rights activists voiced their opposition to the federal government's "zero tolerance" policy of taking the children from their families on Wednesday morning at the federal courthouse in White Plains. Cuomo said New York plans to sue the federal government over the zero tolerance policy and will do so in the next two weeks. Governor Andrew Cuomo said there are 70 children being held in New York State, and some are being kept in facilities here in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Cuomo said some of the children are in facilities such as the children's village in Dobbs ferry, Abbott house in Irvington, Lincoln Boy's Haven in Lincolndale, and Leake and Watts located in Yonkers. Westchester County Executive George Latimer also voiced his concerns. Cuomo released a statement on the situation on Tuesday.

"They do not belong here, they belong with their mothers and fathers. I am calling on the federal government to halt this practice of breaking up families and ripping children away from those who love them immediately," the statement said.

Activist Robert Kesten said taking kids away from their parents can have lifelong consequences for the children.

"All these people are asking for protection. They're coming and handing themselves over to u-s officials asking for help, and if this is the way we treat people asking for help, taking their children away its tragic," Kesten said.

Executive Director of the Westchester People's Action Coalition Nada Khaders said the government is violating law it fight to protect our very own citizens.

"When children are being forcibly removed and separated from their parents this is a flagrant violation of international law, and we're asking the government to respect the law and the rule of law," Khader said.

There are about 2,000 immigrant children reportedly being held in facilities across the nation.

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