CBS 4 New York – July 28, 2017 at 7:25 pm
BRENTWOOD, N.Y. — Protesters and supporters gathered outside Suffolk County Community College where President Donald Trump spoke Friday afternoon about the violent MS-13 street gang.
Protesters chanted “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Donald Trump has got to go,” and “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here” outside SCCC’s Brentwood campus.
The protest drew teachers and immigrants.
“The big problem in terms of gang-related is also bullying, and we have someone who’s speaking who is the bully of all bullies. So I think it’s hypocritical,” teacher Donna Migdol said.
As well as LGBT military families.
“We have a right to serve – gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual — we love this country,” Nydia Phillips said.
Many protesters felt the presidential visit was just a photo-op.
“I think that he’s using this situation to massively exploit out undocumented community here on Long Island,” protester Jenny Ahrend said.
“He is just the disease that’s infecting the country,” a woman who moved to the United States when she was 9 years old told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “He’s inciting racism and bigotry.”
The protesters believe MS-13 is a problem but they don’t believe the president’s solution is the way to go about eradicating the gang’s influence on Long Island, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
“Our message today is for the local police departments of Long Island to not cooperate or collaborate with ICE,” protesters Anita Halasz said. “They are classifying all undocumented immigrants as gang members, as violent criminals, which is not the case.”
But others residents eager for the president’s visit brushed off the protesters.
“Big fan of Donald Trump. God bless him, God bless America” one man said. “I think the controversy is made up by the media, I think it’s a bunch of baloney to be honest with you so I’m fully behind him.”
“We got his back. It is America first, and he’s doing everything that we elected him to do. Continue on, Mr. Trump,” a supporter told Hall.
“We’ve got to get rid of MS-13. Gang violence is out of control in Suffolk and they have got to clean it up,” another man added.
“Never in the history of Long Island have we ever had four young men macheted to death by MS-13, that’s why our president is here to address this issue. Why do we have people trying to stop him?” resident Mary Cuozo asked.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini addressed the crowds of critics.
“We’ve been aggressive in dealing with MS-13 gang members and we’re being criticized for cooperating with Homeland Security,” he said. “I am not making any apologies.”