As slumber parties go, this one lacked for creature comforts: A concrete sidewalk outside of Rep. Rodney Felinghuysen’s (R-11th Dist) Morristown office was about it.
That’s where a handful of activists from New Jersey and Pennsylvania camped out early Friday, as part of a week-long series of demonstrations against $6 billion in President Trump’s budget that would help erect a wall on the Mexican border, expand the border patrol and add beds in private detention centers.
“We want to send a message to Congressman Frelinghuysen that we’re drawing a line in the sand,” Sarah Cullinane, a member of Make the Road New Jersey from Elizabeth, said at 1:30 am.
She was accompanied in the overnight vigil by members of Make the Road Pennsylvania and Morristown-based Wind of the Spirit, who brought signs (“Don’t Separate My Family!” “Not $1 for Deportation”) and sleeping bags.
Activists from several states have come to Morristown this week because Frelinghuysen chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Earlier this week, many participated in a vigil on the Morristown Green responding to last weekend’s white supremacist march in Virginia.
On Friday, they plan to form a human chain outside the Congressman’s office, “to show that this is a life-or-death matter for immigrants and we’re willing to put ourselves on the line,” said Belem Orozzo, of Allentown, PA.
Orville McNally of Morristown said he was attending the vigil partly to honor President Obama’s legacy. “He called us to serve,” McNally said, adding he wanted to show support for “families that are being separated.”