Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was the focus of #ClosetheCamps protests outside of his Park Slope home in Brooklyn on Tuesday evening which were aimed at his perceived inaction—and even complicity—in the continued detention of children on the border in federal custody.
Schumer, a New York Democrat, was roundly criticized in June for allowing a border funding bill that stripped away protections for migrants in U.S. custody to pass through the Senate without resistance. That was seen as surrender by progressives, who charged Schumer with complicity in the ongoing terrible conditions for migrants on the border.
They're conditions that, as Common Dreams reported Tuesday, present what the Office of the Inspector General described as an "immediate risk."
"We would like to put pressure on our senator to do whatever is necessary to release these immigrants from these terrible conditions in these border camp," Park Slope resident Susan Bennett told local local outlet Brooklyner.
The group of protesters came together in Prospect Park Tuesday evening.
Were outside of your home @SenSchumer! Chuck #CloseTheCamps! Not one more dime, not more more penny, for #ICE or #CBP to #SeparateFamilies or #CageBabies! #CloseTheCampsNOW! pic.twitter.com/DwK1Pv4hSQ— New York Immigration Coalition (@thenyic) July 2, 2019
"Chuck Schumer has some dinner guests," tweeted radio host Sam Seder, who shared photos from the event.
Chuck Schumer has some dinner guests... pic.twitter.com/cmYkLEVKqy— Sam Seder (@SamSeder) July 2, 2019
Local anger with Schumer was coming from very close to home, according to New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, who said "some of this organizing is happening at his own synagogue."
"Senator Schumer is trying to split directly down the center of the Democratic Party and he's basically putting politics over children," Alex Petti, of Manhattan, said to Brooklyner. "He's afraid to take a stand for immigrants, because he's afraid of how it's going to come off to white moderates."
Tuesday's protests were aimed at changing that dynamic.
"There are areas where he has moved because of the work of activists, but he definitely needs to do a lot more," said Liat Olenick, the co-president of Indivisible Nation BK.
The pressure appeared to be having some limited effect. Schumer on Wednesday tweeted a number of attacks against the president's border policies and Fourth of July celebration.