Refugees set up camp at Trinity Church to protest Trump
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Immigrant groups have declared New York the city of refuge.
"New York City is the symbol where the statue of liberty is represented not a symbol of walls or bans," said Cesar Vargas, a protester.
Dozens gathered outside the Trump Building on Wall Street with inflatable rafts and photos of refugees, symbolizing those who have come to this country by water.
"In the last three years we've have had about 6,000 refugees who've been settled in New York City and in addition about 2,200 asylees who've been accepted into New York," said Nisha Agarwal, the commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs.
They are standing up against President Trump's attempts to suspend the refugee program, threaten sanctuary cities, and crack down on immigration.
"There are people that are still in the refugee camps right now that we left behind are still waiting, they are on the waiting list," said Elizabeth Arjok, a former refugee who fled war and violence in her home country of Sudan in 1995. She was 12 years old. She spent three years at a refugee camp in Ethiopia before coming to the United States. "When the refugee camp just dissipated overnight we walked for three months," Arjok added.
Now a citizen, Arjok said she doesn't forget the struggles and danger a refugee goes through. She said she believes if the United States hadn't helped her come here all those years ago, she would be dead now.
After an hour of protesting outside Trump's building, the groups marched down the block to Trinity Church where some will stay overnight at a tent city encampment for refugees they set up. There will be educational and cultural programs as well as interfaith services.