Senator Blumenthal In Westport: Separating Families Is Profoundly Depressing — And Un-American

Yesterday, Richard Blumenthal was in Texas. He toured a border processing center, and a detention center packed with 250 boys.

Today, Connecticut’s senior senator was in Westport. Standing on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, lined with the flags of dozens of nations, he pointed to America’s stars and stripes flying directly overhead.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal on the Post Road bridge this afternoon. He pointed to the American flag — flying with many others — and said its values are more important than ever.

This country’s values are very important, he said told a crowd of about 100. They gathered to protest President Trump’s immigration policies.

But those values are under attack, Blumenthal continued. And, he warned, darker days may lie ahead.

Before he spoke, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (far left) stood with the crowd on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge. They listened as protest organizer Darcy Hicks described the important of speaking up against President Trump’s immigration policies.

The senator spoke of his own father — an immigrant fleeing Nazi Germany. The current president, he said, would have turned that 17-year-old away.

Blumenthal thanked Westporters for caring, and for speaking out and standing up. Those values, he said, are more important than ever.

One of the signs seen at today’s protest.

This message counters the one worn on a jacket his past week, by First Lady Melania Trump. It read: “I really don’t care, do u?” (All photos/Dan Woog)

36 responses to “Senator Blumenthal In Westport: Separating Families Is Profoundly Depressing — And Un-American

  1. Tina Babish

    This is simply and profoundly wonderful! May I share this last photo with photographer recognition?

  2. I CARE AND I WILL VOTE. Perfect!

  3. A. David Wunsch

    I love that woman’s shirt.
    ADW Staples 1956

  4. Lisa Marie Alter

    Senator Blumenthal: Thank you for going to Texas to bear witness, and for coming back to report on the atrocities which are being committed – in the name of ALL Americans (!)… it will take us years to recover our place of esteem in the world.

    Dan Woog: Thank you for your coverage, and your unwavering voice.

    Good People of Westport, those using their “privilege” to speak out: Thank you for showing up and raising your voices… we need more of you/us.

    “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.”
    ― Albert Einstein

    Lisa Marie Alter

  5. Kevin O'Brien

    Unfortunately it’s been going on for years. Clinton separated kids. So did Bush, and Bush in fact signed the zero tolerance law into effect. Obama separated kids from parents and even turned them over to human traffickers (verified on @ People were even indicted for it in 2014. We need an immigration overhaul that also addresses illegal immigration. Every one of the aforementioned presidents gave speeches denouncing illegal immigration and each vowed to deport all illegals and all illegal children. So did Hillary Clinton. Suddenly (we) Democrats are all up in arms and upset? It’s good to do something about it, but let’s be honest here. We didn’t seem to care too much before now.

    • Thanks Kevin, or is that Ivan the Russian troll?

      • Kevin O'Brien

        Whaaat? John, how dare you. An ad hominem attack because you didn’t like what I said? No counterpoints or discussion? Just nasty vitriol and insult? Wow, and you call me a troll? Actually, by the very definitions you are the troll and a bigot to boot.
        “In Internet slang, a troll (/troʊl, trɒl/) is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the intent of provoking readers with insults.
        noun: bigot; plural noun: bigots

        a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.

        • John McCarthy

          Kevin, you originally posted without a last name, frequently a sign of trolling behavior. Now that you’ve correctly identified yourself I retract the Troll comment.


          • Kevin O'Brien

            John, I’ve been a member of this board since 2015 and never had a last name problem before. This was surely an anomaly. I’ve been interested in Westport affairs since I volunteered as a teenager at Open Line when it was located under the YMCA (47 years) and family lived on Long Lots Rd. I thank you for the retraction, but the name calling should never have happened in the first place. Westporters are better than that.

      • Kevin O'Brien

        And what you wrote is a great example of divisive hate, even though I’m a Democrat and have been for 45 years. You’re a great example of what seems to be happening to our party. Divisiveness! Not only would you hate JFK today, you’d hate Cesar Chavez and MLK (the hero of my youth).

    • Posted By Susan Farley

      Kevin is right, And From the counter-human trafficking perspective, there has been benefit for trafficked children from immediately separating children from adults who bring them across the border illegally, often with no or poor quality id-documentation, Because when they cross the border into USA nobody right then knows if the adults are truly their guardians or human traffickers planning to sell/rent the children in human sex trade and/or for slave labor.

      It often takes a few weeks and admittedly it’s even taken a couple of years to determine if a child is with their guardian or with human trafficker when they enter with no documents or bad quality documentation, i.e., So that EO Trump was pressured into signing last week = a swap of children, i.e., a swap of protecting children from being temporarily separated from their parents for an admittedly excruciating few weeks & in some cases a couple of years until their relationships can be confirmed In Exchange For totally handing other children over to human traffickers, no effective obstacles to that and there is nothing temporary about becoming a victim of human traffickers as a child, Even if they are eventually rescued, being a human trafficking victim, esp as a child, is final.

      That EO Trump was pressured to sign, using photos of children who were not actually separated from their parents as media has said they were AS WELL AS the photos of children separated from parents and sleeping in the silver heating blankets that were actually photos taken during Obama Admin’s hold of immigrant children who had been crossed into USA illeglally, THAT EO now makes legit guardians of children who they brought with them over border illegally as happy as it makes the human traffickers of children because it removes that ‘verify id – documents’ – obstacle to trafficking of children.

      • Kevin O'Brien

        Susan, you are correct. Too much stirred up emotion by really, really nasty politicians and too little intelligent understanding. Even the poster child for separation, the little girl crying that Time put on their cover wasn’t separated from her mother at all (it was a lie intended to incite easily manipulated emotional people) and still isn’t, and her mother illegally took her (separated her) from her father in Honduras and brought her into the US. The father has been frantic and worried there. He says she went to the US for economic reasons, not as a refugee. The mother had been previously deported for cause so committed a felony by entering again (1st time is a civil misdemeanor and subsequent is a felony). The US govt has been and continues to implore those seeking refugee status to go to the appropriate entry areas to apply for that status and to not enter illegally because they then lose that ability. So much dishonesty in the service of politics, and it has now led to children being returned to possible danger of trafficking rather than removal until the adults can be verified. Even babies are being trafficked, but they’re also pawns for political purposes putting politics ahead of their safety. As previously said, we need immigration reform, and we need to stop politicians from using these people for their own political ends.

      • Elizabeth Thibault

        There are new efforts to ensure that the children are with their proper family members. A Congresswoman from CA (Jackie Speier) asked 23 And Me to donate their genetic testing kits, to help reunite children with family. This will put them in the care of those who they are legitimately related to, which should allay some of your fears regarding trafficking.

    • Russell Gontar

      The situation described in the Snopes piece occurred because HHS failed to do an adequate screening of the children’s “sponsors” and that is how they fell into trafficker hands. Your comment suggests that the Obama administration knowingly and deliberately turned them over to the traffickers, which is false. The current situation came about in April when Jeff Sessions decided to implement a zero tolerance “policy” which is not based in law.

      • Kevin O'Brien

        Certainly not. Any more than you would accuse the current president of bad behavior for anything HIS cabinet did. Right? The question posed to Snopes was “Did the Obama Administration Place Immigrant Children With Human Traffickers?” and the finding was “TRUE”. BTW, the zero tolerance “policy” was signed into law by George W. Bush. It was called “Operation Streamline” and was continued under the Obama administration. It’s effectiveness has been called into question, but the current emotional craze manipulation is not warranted.

    • Elina Lublinsky

      Great comment, Kevin.
      Thank you.

  6. Bob Stalling

    Is this the same Blumenthal who repeatedly told us he “served in Vietnam”, when the reality is that he had 5 deferments?

    • Bruce J Kent

      That’s the one. The SC$#BAG is beneath contempt; a lying phony. We in California certainly have nothing to brag about with the obnoxious nitwits we elect, but your guy is really a peach……..and He is lecturing on ethics, morals? Be serious. Source:

      • Lisa Marie Alter

        As long as you’re gonna bring up lies, let’s remind everyone about the Liar&Thief:

        OVER 3000 since taking office – and counting (article as of May 1, 2018).

        The lies trump tells at his rallies and in his tweets come fast and furious – no doubt his tally has multiplied severalfold since then.

        Of course, if one only gets their “news” from FoxSpews, one remains ignorant and will claim to have no knowledge…

        #SamePeopleWhoLoveAlternativeFacts #PassTheFoolAid

        Lisa Marie Alter

        • Kevin O'Brien

          Lisa, that’s from the Washington Post. Hardly a non-partisan player. I’d much rather hear from a neutral non-partisan source. Otherwise, forgive me for being skeptical, as we all should be out of fairness.

          • Nancy Hunter

            Read The Economist, then. You may be surprised.

          • Lisa Marie Alter

            “So-Called” Kevin:
            Please – feel free to count all his lies yourself –
            No need to “trust” WAPO —
            trump’s plethora of lies are ALL out there,
            on Twitter and in videos,
            Waiting for rubes to play back –

            And deny, deny, deny. 🙄

            “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
            and then beat you with experience.”
            Mark Twain

            Lisa Marie Alter

            • Kevin O'Brien, CWO USN (Ret)

              Lisa. I’m sorry… “So called” Kevin? Did I miss something? Why did you say “so called”? That’s my name. Kevin O’Brien. You know, Greek like Onassis. 😀 Anyway, that was kind of a mean spirited thing to say. Also, you yourself didn’t count anything. You just cited someone else’s numbers. The Washington Post’s. I’m not going to play that game, sorry. I just said I’d be more willing to believe a neutral, non-partisan source. I hope that’s not wrong of me.

  7. Mark Demmerle

    I thought Melania’s message was about Stormy Daniels?

  8. Matthew Miller

    Surviving the initial abuse is easy part you basically just shut down and die on the inside. The real trick is surviving the self destructive years that follow with drugs, alcohol, isolation, shame, suicidal tendencies. It strains credulity to see any Westporters so ardently supporting Blumenthal given his ineffectual legislative record on human trafficking. It is downright offensive to read a comment thanking Blumenthal for his “bearing witness” I’m also unclear about how 5 draft deferments helps move forward a conversation about human trafficking. I don’t question the motives or intent of the locals on that bridge but I can tell you that Richard Blumenthal has never cared and never will care.

    • Kevin O'Brien

      I think the 5 deferments is relevant to Blumenthal and his willingness to lie for his benefit, which is really the topic in addition to his immigration message. Most anything he says should be looked at with skepticism. And I’m a life-long Democrat saying that. I just don’t like lies and fake news.

  9. Susan Farley

    That’s wonderful re the DNA testing kits. it would be great too for some org – non politicized – or even US DOS in Countries of Origin to do info campaigns there that tell people what documents they will need & how to preserve them when they’re crossing the borders, keep them from getting smudged, wet, etc., i.e., that can keep some legit guardians both DNA related and not blood related from getting separated from the children they bring with them too. little things that are mostly doable for them that can make such a difference in how successful and comfortable their immigration experience is.

  10. Irene Mastriacovo

    Political hypocrisy at its best, both sides. …and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. Peace out.

  11. Kevin O'Brien, CWO USN (Ret)

    Hmmm. For some reason my first name only shows when commenting. I’ll try to remember to make sure my last name shows also. Forgive me in advance if I forget once or twice. Thank you Dan for bringing this to my attention.

  12. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Somebody’s got to spearhead a return to civility in this country. Dan Woog has always championed that both in his persona conduct and in his commentary. When respect for the law disappears so does everything else. I’ve left FB and this is my last and best hope to stay in touch with old and authentic Westport friends and hopefully make new ones (not the FB kind).