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Fundraiser to Support Immigrant Families Separated at Border to Take Place in LIC Sunday

Julie Schwietert Collazo (left) after meeting Yeni Gonzalez Garcia for the first time in July 2018. Her group helped bail Gonzalez Garcia out from an ICE detention center in Arizona and reunite with her children who were sent to New York City.

April 10, 2019 By Alexa Beyer

A food and fundraising event will take place on the Long Island City waterfront this Sunday to support an organization that helps immigrant families separated at the border.

“Dining for Justice,” hosted by Immigrant Families Together, will feature 25 food, beer, and wine stations, as well as live music. The fundraiser is being held at Sound River Studios, located on 4-40 44th Drive, by a building with a giant countdown clock marking the end of President Donald Trump’s first term in office.

The event aims to raise funds for a volunteer-powered organization that was founded last year to assist families separated by the Trump Administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy.

Food vendors include local eateries, such as John Brown Smokehouse, M Wells Steakhouse, and Sugar Freak. The restaurants and chefs are all donating their food and efforts to the event.

“Chefs are big hearted people,” event organizer Jonathan Forgash said, who co-founded the Queens Dinner Club. “It is from this place that they donate their skills and efforts to help the families that are being detained and separated at the border.”

The group, which was established by Long Island City resident Julie Schwietert Collazo, provides families with the resources they need to build a safe, healthy and stable life while they pursue their asylum claims.

It also connects them with legal support and posts bond for detained asylum-seekers. To date, the group has posted bail for more than 70 parents, grandparents, and older siblings held in ICE detention facilities.

“This fundraiser has enormous symbolic significance,” Collazo said. “By coming together to share food, to build the beloved community of which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke, or to create radical welcome, as poet Elizabeth Alexander has said, we are not only engaging in the most basic and beautiful human exchange. We are also raising funds to create opportunities for these families to build a new life — and to quite literally feed themselves — in this new land.”

The event will take place on Sunday, April 14 from 5-8 pm. Tickets are still available at eventbrite and children 12 and under can attend for free.

Tickets, which cost $125, include unlimited food and beverage tastings.

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51 Comments

Valentina

So happy to hear 3 hotels will be getting many of the new migrants over the next 6 weeks here in LIC/Sunnyside. We need to welcome them. Its so nice to see fundraising like this and our community coming together

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Butter weeda and 9trey

Who will support these families when given passage here? Where is the tree of moray with leaves money on it? Can someone give me insight where will the funding come from? Our socialist politicians think we can print more money and that solves the problem. How about American citizens first?? or is that to much to ask for?? how about our homeless vets ?? families that have had a bad turn in life and financial downfall?? . We live I backward state we can inject and kill babies but wont exterminate a killer or rapist?? We’ll fund college for illegal immigrant kids. But gold star families are denied funding over the sake of votes .

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gold star family said Trump had “sacrificed nothing” because of his five deferments his father bought him

I agree, we should do more to support our gold star families. You’d never vote for someone like Trump that ridiculed them on the national stage right?

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Butter weeda and 9trey

Yep voted for him and will again in the next election. Left my masters plantation when I was 18. Yep America comes first handsome. Citizens and LEGAL!! residents come first. Must be too much to ask right?? Why not here first?? Lunacy to help someone that didn’t come here legally

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CJS

Deport illegal aliens, fine and imprison those who harbor or hire them. Support American citizenship, the law, and our nation’s sovereignty.

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stan chaz

Dear editior:
If you choose to post my coment I have removed two typos in this version:
In an era of callously separating children from parents for crass political ends, I am reminded of some ancients and far wiser “comments” that still hold true in modern society, —-perhaps even more so:

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 18:1–10)

And finally a quote from Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor:
“No human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?”

In fact it was the revulsion at our pre-World War Two policies of turning away Jewish refugees, many of which were subsequently slaughtered by Hitler, which led to the post-war worldwide legal encoding of the rights of people fleeing persecution and war and danger to seek amnesty.

Heck, if WE had 10% of the courage and conviction of these refugees on our border, then we’d have a much better nation. It’s the very same courage and conviction that our grandparents and great-grandparents brought with them when they fled to America in an era of unrestricted immigrant from “the old country”. Indeed, they must be rolling over in their graves at the closed-minded prejudice of some of their progeny today – those who shamefully seek to replace the Statue of Liberty with walls and hate speech, with fear and division, with shameless scapegoating that pits us against them.

Don’t build a wall around your heart, around your conscience, and around and against the immigrants and refugees that made our country great, and continue to do so today- and will do so tomorrow as well. For to its credit, despite the haters, America continues to exemplify its motto: E Pluribus Unum: From Many One.

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rikki

I will donate $5000 if its for a one way ticket back to their home country…..My grandparents uncles etc all had to wait in line to be legally admitted to come here…and some were REAL refugees from Hungary in 1957 with Russian tanks in their city

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JJ MacQuade

None of these ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS would have to be reunited if they had not come here ILLEGALLY. I’m tired of people saying “oh it’s to help immigrants” no what you’re actually doing is adding and abetting a criminal who should not be here to begin with. I have no problem with someone coming to this country, but do it the right way and do it legally. In all other countries around the world if you enter illegally you are either, sent back to your country right away, thrown in jail or in some places, shot and killed. Here we give people handouts and let them stay, it’s wrong. I have many friends who immigrated to this country legally and are all for the policies that President Trump has in place or wants to put in place, because as they said they busted their a$$ to come here legally and become a citizen and why should someone who comes here illegally get to stay, do it the right way. And to address anyone saying that “Oh you’re racist for saying that”, when I say come here legally, I mean anyone from any country that wants to come here, because we have many illegals from places such as Ireland, Asia and other areas that have lots of Illegal Immigrants here. DO IT RIGHT, DO IT LEGALLY.

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Why has Trump completely failed to deliver one of his central campaign promises

Then when’s Mexico paying for the Great Wall, the way Trump promised? 😂

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Princess Vespa

I’m sure if the country had money they would be able to keep their citizens in their own country.

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Agreed, Trump completely lied

Wait, you’re saying Trump lied about getting Mexico to pay for the wall?!

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Princess Vespa

No, I said nothing of the sort. How can a country pay for something when the people there sneak to USA for more money when they work?

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

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If Mexico isn't paying for the wall, why did Trump say he would make them?

Was Trump lying when he said he’d build a wall and make Mexico pay for it? Here’s two parts of that he’s completely failed at so far:

1. Building a wall
2. Getting Mexico to pay for it

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MRLIC

What is wrong with the people that gave all these dislikes to JJ MacQuade? He/She is 100% RIGHT. These ILLEGALS are breaking US LAW . Freeloaders looking for a handout. I and my family along with many people I know support Trumps policies at the BORDER. We should not be supporting and encouraging Illegals to come here. The NYC Sanctuary City policy should be revoked. People that busted their butts to come here are feeling mad that these Illegals are getting a FREE RIDE on the taxpayers dime. Remember Cuomo put in the new budget $27 million for Illegals to get College Tuition and only $2.7 million for Disable Veterans and their families. What state or country would do that answer+New York . Now a Socialist /Communist Radical Democratic city. Vote Democrat and you will get the likes of AOC, Ilan Omar and her 9-11 Comments, Rashida Tlaib. All anti-Americans. AOC and Ms. Tlai bsupport Omar’s 9-11 “Somebody Did Something” comments. Losers ALL.

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good rant grandpa

Wow you blamed just about everyone Fox News told you to in a single unhinged rant! No mention of the homeless though?

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Charles Castro

Why do you people use the term immigrants instead of illegal aliens? FYI,I will give to our needy American citizens before I give one red cent to any illegal.

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literally immigrants

Charles “Fidel” Castro these people are immigrants, you might want to open a dictionary. This is for families that had their children held in Trump’s child concentration camps.

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Shelly

Obama and bush both ” caged” them, do some research before you make stupid remarks.

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Agreed, Trump put children in concentration camps, some other people did too a long time ago

Why are you comparing Trump to people that put children in concentration camps?

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MRLIC

Literally Immigrants–You are WRONG these are Illegals who tried to cross the border , even if they claimed asylum they should wait their turn as there were many scams being played out. Kids did not even belong to their so called mothers and fathers. Canada is now getting tough on their Border with these asylum scams. Do something for American families who lost a service member or had a loved one disabled fighting for you. Are you an American? if you don’t like Trump or this country please leave, see how the illegals will treat you then.

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Why hasn't Trump done a single thing?!

Why hasn’t Trump done a single thing to stop illegal immigration?

Even after the Trump Shutdown he got nothing. Deportations are down.

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Dennis Bixby (Angel Dad)

Next time there is a burglar in their home, should call 911 and report an”uninvited house guest”. You could time police response with a calendar. Call it what it is

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LIC Direct

Watch the money — how much will really go towards the needy? How is this money being spent? Where will it go? How do we know it will go towards needy immigrant families in need of let’s say legal representation? who is accountable for this money? Can they show the statistics? Lot’s of unanswered questions,

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JJ MaCQuade

They are not immigrants, they are ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS who should not be here to begin with.

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Princess Vespa

We know immigrants are here, the state, country know they are here. No one really knows squatters live here officially.

I know a permenant resident living in NY originally from England. She always has to have her papers with her just in case. She pays taxes, has a checking account, owns multiple properties in the state. We. Know. She’s. Here.

Jack Doe

So people sneak into another country without papers and are subject to arrest, as one might expect. Then they are RELEASED and people in the country give them money? Imagine being this naive

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hmm why does that sound like BS?

Sneak into another country without papers?!

The vast majority of undocumented immigrants came here legally and overstayed their visa.

Do you know a single thing about immigration policy?

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MRLIC

Look I do not like separating families. What should be realized by Illegal Immigrant loving Socialist ? Communist Democrats is the fact many asylum seekers are fakers, grabbing kids at the border to use as their own for asylum. Many people that come here illegally are looking for handouts and some are smugglers and traffickers and gang members (FACT). No country in the world can have UNCHECKED ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION and survive. That goes for all you Illegal loving people out there. Worry about your own homeless vets and regular homeless. There are many Americans suffering especially in those Democratic cities of Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, oh yes and New York City. Very expensive Democratically controlled Tax and spend places. Trump may yet get his wall if he stops the Wire transfers from Directo Mexico where Mexicans send Billion home on the taxpayer dime. He wants to use the money seized for the wall and it will be more than enough.

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oh look MRLIC is ranting about immigrants AGAIN

Wait…what do wire transfers have to do with it? Trump PROMISED Mexico would pay for The Great Wall. He completely failed.

He had the Trump Shutdown in order to beg the democrats for money. They outsmarted him, he completely failed again.

He tried a state of emergency, his fellow republicans blocked him. He completely failed again.

Were you actually gullible enough to believe him?! 🤣

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MRLIC

Oh Look etc.. You are DELUSIONAL. Are you American? Anyone who wants unchecked Illegal Immigration is Delusional and not very BRIGHT. First of all before Republicans voted against Trump because the shut down was too long. The Dumb-O-Crats have obstructed Trump at everything he has tried. They don’t do their jobs to protect americans just obstruct TRUMP. They are not being paid to always obstruct and I believe it will cost them dearly. He wanted to stop giving aid to Mexico and use that money for the wall but Dems stopped him. The money he can confiscate from illegals snnd ing money ([email protected] billion) last year through Direct Mexico can be used for the wall. He only needs between $5-10 billion.He did not beg anyone for money he asked. Dems stopped him as usual. They would rather hurt Trump than help the country. This is how out of touch the Dems are. You only see 1 side of the story like other Socialist /Communist Dems like DeBlasio and AOC K. Harris, C. Booker, E. Warren B. Sanders N. Pelosi , Chuck Schumer etc…These are obstructionist Politicians not real legislators. Dems have failed Trump and the country wake up and see the other side of the coin. Listen to your neighbors.

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Agreed, the republicans must be really embarrassed that Trump completely lied about The Wall

So why did Trump completely fail to get Mexico to pay for the Great Wall?

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Princess Vespa

Cause you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
Seriously, people refuse all the time. Parents refusing to pay their and their children’s ways, people refusing to pay their way on the subway, people refusing to work for a living.

….Millions more…..

Jay

There are far too many of our neighbors who are searching for something to eat as I write this. Let’s clean up our home before we move on to others.

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Merman

It’s interesting that an event called “Dining for Justice” is being setup to support people who are illegally entering the country.

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facts machine

The vast majority enter legally then overstay their visa.

But don’t let facts interrupt the narrative Fox News sold you.

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Merman

Please provide data to prove the “vast majority enter legally then overstay their visa.” Additionally, let’s pretend you are correct–overstaying one’s visa is legal now? You made my point… I know it is hard for you to understand that a country needs policy to function but I’m afraid that is reality.

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JH resident

Since this publication refuses to use the proper terminology: ‘illegal alien’, the least the writers can do is include UNDOCUMENTED in the article title.

These people are not immigrants. A true immigrant follows the laws and process to come here legally.

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ANOTHER rant about "dem illeguls" from JH resident?!?!?

These people are immigrants. You should learn what words mean before you embarrass yourself again.

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Agreed, they are immigrants

Agreed, they are immigrants, good point MRLIC.

You only need to capitalize proper nouns btw. Ask your mom for some help.

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MRLIC

Look I capitalize for effect. Many people do who comment. You don’t know the meaning of immigrant yourself. Illegal means here unlawfully in this case of border crossings and visas expiring and the immigrant now becomes a illegal immigrant. If you don’t like America, you are FREE to leave at any time. Don’t ruin this country with unchecked illegal immigration. No other country does, why should we. We have so many hungry Americans and veterans families who thanks to Cuomo will get less money than illegal DACA kids in this years NY State budget. You must be a Dumb-o-crat like Cuomo and DumBlasio. Both illegal immigrant favoring losers. Remember we are a Sanctuary City for these loser illegal immigrants.Did New Yorkers get to vote i they wanted to be a sanctuary city> Answer NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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want to borrow a dictionary?

Whether or not they were born here, or overstayed their visas, they are still immigrants.

If you learned what big words mean you might not rant about so many things.

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LIC Resident

You are being too sensible saying that a country should have any form of immigration policy.

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MRLIC

I could not have said it better. I don’t care how many dislikes I get from Anti-Americans including developers on this site who sponsor it. I am glad so many real Americans spoke out against these Illegal Immigrants .Bravo to all of you who spole out, BRAVO.

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MRLIC

I only voted for Trump because he promised to keep immigrant children in concentration camps.

That was working for a while, what happened?

And why didn’t he build The Great Wall? He promised Mexico would pay for it.

I mean, I love greedy developers so much I didn’t need more reasons to vote for him, but this is disappointing.

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