Photos Of A LaGuardia Airport Protest Welcoming Migrant Kids Are So Moving
Airports have once again become a site of protest in the Trump era. Migrant kids separated from their parents under the government's "zero-tolerance" policy are, in some cases, being sent around the country to temporary shelters. Activists have been gathering at New York City's LaGuardia Airport to protest the policy and support the incoming children. Videos and photos of people welcoming migrant kids at LaGuardia convey the continuing tragedy of these months of family separation.
Groups of migrant kids were scheduled to land in NYC from Dallas on Wednesday, according to The New York Times. News of their arrival was shared on social media by several activist groups, including Make the Road New York, and soon crowds had assembled to welcome the kids. They went to security gates, several arrival terminals, and a taxi line, waiting for the flights to arrive, and some people managed to catch at least one — a group of seven young boys.
The protesters sang protest songs, including "We Shall Overcome," and held signs in Spanish with messages like "Estamos Con Ustedes" (We Are With You). United We Dream's Cristina Jimenez, who helped corral support for the protest on Twitter, told NBC New York that she spoke to one boy who was visibly moved.
"I told him that we were fighting for him that we loved him and turned to me and was just crying," she said. "I promise we are going to keep fighting for him until he is free and reunited with loved ones."
Here are some photos and videos from the airport welcome.
Outside At The Taxi Line
The crowd sang "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around," another Civil Rights anthem.
Inside The Airport
Moore, a filmmaker who often engages in social activism, urged people to show up to the airport on Twitter.
Many signs read "Los Queremos," or "We Love You."
Outside Terminal B
By midnight, this user described the scene as containing "a sea of people."
At Terminal C
Some reports indicated that this late-night flight for which protesters were waiting was rerouted to Newark, New Jersey.
"We Who Believe In Freedom Cannot Rest"
A particularly poignant pair of signs.
Hundreds Of People
"Cielito Lindo" is a famous Mexican song that's been around for over a hundred years and signifies Mexican nationalism.
A Story From The Plane
Jimenez shared this story with the crowd.
A Long Night Of Waiting
The New York Times suggests that protesters continued to wait for kids until at least 2 a.m., and some social media reports suggest that people lingered even longer.
Protesting The Cages
"We're here to show solidarity and to show that we care about the kids and to show them the love from the community," one protester told NBC New York.
"I Believe That We Will Win"
In the face of the horror, protesters still shouted out messages of hope.
On Wednesday, the Trump administration ended family separation but left in place its "zero-tolerance" policy, meaning that it will continue to prosecute parents who cross the border without paperwork. Parents and kids will now be held together in detention centers for indefinite amounts of time. Families who have already been separated don't know when they'll be reunited.
Still, the LaGuardia protest shows that pro-immigration activists will not rest until they are reunited and the administration creates a policy that doesn't involve keeping children in detainment for unspecified periods.
"The message at LaGuardia tonight is loud and clear," the ACLU, which joined the protest, said in a statement. "We will keep fighting for all of the children who have been separated from their families."