Hours after demonstrators took to New York City’s Union Square to protest the Trump administration’s family separation policy, a news station filmed young Spanish-speaking children being led to a foster care center miles uptown.
NY1 reported Wednesday that sources informed the station that children were being taken to Cayuga Centers, a foster and children’s center in East Harlem, after they were separated from their parents at the US-Mexican border.
Around 12:45 AM on Wednesday, a group of five young Spanish-speaking girls were accompanied by two women headed to the center. When approached for comment, the women “emphatically denied” that the girls were separated from their parents.
They approached the building that houses Cayuga Centers and hit the buzzer for the facility’s number. Roughly an hour later, the report noted, a group of children left the building covered so that their identities were shielded.
News of the New York City center taking in children separated from their parents at the border came after officials with the Department of Health and Human Services said more beds could be readied for kids affected by the policy. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has acknowledged that around 70 children have been brought into the state.
Watch NY1’s report and footage of the children headed to Cayuga Centers below:
EXCLUSIVE: Children from the southern border are being brought to NYC after being separated from their families.
Overnight, @joshrobin captured video of unusual activity at a foster agency in East Harlem. #MorningsOn1 pic.twitter.com/WhiN27wb5T
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) June 20, 2018
UPDATE: Edward Hayes, president and CEO of Cayuga Home For Children, confirmed to Gothamist that the facility is housing children separated from their families.
“What I’m doing is respecting the terms of the contract, and it’s important to respect these kids,” Hayes told Gothamist. “These are tender, vulnerable kids who don’t deserve to be frightened. They’re incredibly heroic kids and we’re trying to take care of them.”
“I’d say that they’re the kind of kids America needs right now,” he continued, adding that he “probably just got myself in trouble.”