CORTLAND, N.Y. — About 100 people gathered outside the Cortland Post Office on Main Street Saturday afternoon as part of a "Families Belong Together" rally.
The 30-minute peaceful protest was part of a national response to the Trump administration's enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy at the southern border that has led to thousands of children being separated from their parents. The rally was organized by Indivisible Cortland County.
"Every one of us has ancestors who are not legal," said Nancy Dafoe, a retired teacher, local author, and a member of ICC. "The only true legal immigrants in this country are the Native Americans."
Dafoe then recited "The New Colossus," a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus that was cast onto a bronze plaque of a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty.
Protesters also recited songs, including "Where Do The Children Play?" by Cat Stevens, and "Teach Your Children," by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.
Following the rally, ICC hosted a presentation on tax policy, trade, and immigration at Christ Community Church, 292 Tompkins Street. Meeting attendees were asked to bring a non-perishable food item to benefit local farm workers.
Barb Henza, a consumer finance eduactor for Cornell Cooperative Extension, spoke on current tax policy and its impact on low and middle income families in Cortland County, while Gail Bundy, a retired business consultant, provided an overview of economic impacts of trade and immigration policy.