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New York rally urges US to welcome caravan


Al Jazeera/Voters in the United States will take to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots in the midterm elections, in what is seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump’s first two years in office. But for the hundreds of immigration advocates who gathered in central New York on Saturday, the fight for migrants’ rights will be far from over no matter the result. “We want Americans to understand this is beyond Republican and Democrat or Trump and his administration,” Patricia Okoumou, the activist who climbed the Statue of Liberty on July 4 to protest against forced separations at the US-Mexico border, told Al Jazeera. “If we don’t act, we are all complicit … people need to open their eyes,” Okoumou said, adding that it was time to acknowledge migrants and refugees as fellow human beings.

It was a message echoed the busy Union Square in Manhattan, where people of all ages expressed solidarity with a US-bound caravan of thousands of Central American migrants and refugees. Activists said it was a last-bid effort to expose the “horrific treatment” of undocumented immigrants in the country, including family separations, detentions at the border and fear mongering from Trump and his Republican administration before the November 6 vote. Democrats are eyeing the midterm elections as an opportunity to take back a majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives from the Republicans, but activists said their fight is beyond the bi-partisan struggle for power.

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