A statement and an opposition vote is a start

You know by now that we at Rise rarely step into politics unless it pertains to defending immigrant and refugee rights. Our newest neighbors are vital to Buffalo’s economic stability and cultural enrichment, and they have a legal right to make asylum claims swiftly, on US soil, with their children in their possession. Thursday, July 12’s protests in Buffalo saw over 200 people block traffic for nearly three hours without a permit to be there. Nine people were arrested. People noticed.

On top of calling to #CloseTheCamps and put pressure on Uniland Development for renting out space on Delaware and Chippewa for an I.C.E. holding cell, the protests were meant to stir action from our representatives including US Senators Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, and US Reps Brian Higgins, Chris Collins and Tom Reed.

After reaching out via his website, we did receive a reply from Rep. Brian Higgins:

Thanks so much for reaching out. The Congressman is by no means in support of the Trump Administration’s horrendous dealings at the border.  He is in Washington this week for votes but he did release the following statement in support of the protesters’ position and has spoken out previously.  Happy to talk to you more about how we can work together.


Theresa Kennedy
Communications Director
Rep. Brian Higgins

Statement from Congressman Brian Higgins
“Western New Yorkers today rightly protested the Trump Administration’s appalling treatment of innocent children and families desperately fleeing conflict and danger.  Last week I opposed border legislation because it lacked appropriate safeguarding for the children and families who are victims of this administration’s repugnant policies. This treatment – including inhumane conditions and the shameful separation of children from their parents – does not represent who we are and what we stand for as Americans.”

We are thrilled to receive this reply. Rep Higgins’ statement, and his vote against funneling more money to the private corporations who are detaining children in squalor is the right one. We hope to spark more collaboration between our Congressman and Buffalo’s activists and get statements like these to even larger platforms.

Press forward, together.