Protesters gather at LI facility reportedly housing separated immigrant kids

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Protesters gathered Friday at a Long Island facility housing eight immigrant children who were separated from their families. Protesters gathered Friday at a Long Island facility housing eight immigrant children who were separated from their families.
SYOSSET -

Protesters gathered Friday at a Long Island facility reportedly housing eight immigrant children who were separated from their families.

MercyFirst in Syosset is a facility that provides homes for foster children. It's estimated about 2,500 children were separated from their families as part of a the Trump administration's zero- tolerance immigration policy. Eight of those children, ranging in age from 6 to 12, are being cared for at MercyFirst, according to Newsday.

“Our concern is not that MercyFirst is not providing good shelter and care for these children, but is it adequate?” asked protester Kat Sullivan. “Do they have the facilities to provide psychological assistance for these kids? Medical, legal representation to help them apply for asylum and most importantly to reconcile them back with their families. We know that MercyFirst is in good standing with this community, and we would hope that they would stand against these methods of removing children from the borders.”

News 12 reached out to MercyFirst several times but has not heard back. 

President Donald Trump signed an executive order that he says will halt family separations at the border, but questions remain on how children will be reunited with their families.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it is estimated that 700 children separated from their families are living in facilities in New York. Cuomo is furious over a gag order Health and Human Services has placed on facilities where children are being held

Walter Barrientos, a Long Island advocate for immigrants, said the gag order has created a lack of trust.

"This administration has made it clear that they want to use the suffering of these children as a pawn so we do not have full assurance that these kids will be reunited," said Barrientos.

Gov. Cuomo says New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, intend to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the family separations at the border. 

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