‘We Will Persist’: Hundreds of immigrants join Mass. politicians for rally against Trump

BOSTON (WHDH) - Workers, immigrants and community advocates joined Sen. Edward Markey and Congressman Joe Kennedy on Tuesday for a rally to send a message to Washington that Massachusetts will fight to protect its residents and communities, and to protest sweeping immigration changes put in place by Donald Trump’s administration.

Hundreds flocked to the Boston Irish Famine Memorial in Downtown Crossing to take part in the “We Will Persist” rally, which highlighted how Massachusetts will continue to fight to advance key issues.

Markey and Kennedy are using their family histories to push back against plans for stepped-up deportations of those in the country illegally.

Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, said his family fled Ireland for many of the same reasons that immigrants are continuing to seek refuge in the United States. He said he opposes the rewrite of immigration enforcement policies announced Tuesday by the Trump administration.

Kennedy addressed immigrant rights supporters gathered at the Boston Irish Famine Memorial in downtown Boston.

Markey, a fellow Democrat, says his grandparents also emigrated to the U.S. from Ireland seeking a new life and the country must remain a welcoming place for the newest immigrants.

Markey says ramping up deportations will discourage affected immigrants from working with police.

Under the new plan, Trump said a wall will built across Mexico–United States border. Both Markey and Kennedy said the idea is expensive and wrong.

Those in attendance gathered in an effort to make the Trump Administration aware that the Commonwealth will continue to fight for quality jobs, affordable healthcare coverage, immigrant rights and a voice in important decisions that affect the state.

“Massachusetts knows how to fight and win,” said Sen. Markey. “We are home to the Abolition movement, the suffragette movement, the universal health care movement and the same-sex marriage movement. As a Commonwealth and as a people, we will persist. And when there is inequality and injustice, we will resist.”

The rally was also held to reaffirm support of immigrants, the LGBTQ community, Muslims and all those unfairly targeted by the Trump administration.

Many in attendance called for a plan to to keep and improve affordable healthcare before taking away the healthcare of millions of Americans.

The rally was one of hundreds being held across the country in opposition of the Trump administration’s agenda.

(Copyright (c) 2017 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)