Immigrants and allies hold protest in Hartford calling to make Connecticut a sanctuary state

HARTFORD--People gathered in downtown Hartford on Monday afternoon try try and effect change in light of the "looming Trump presidency."

The Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance held a "United Against Hate" protest and march, which was intended to serve as a "know your rights" workshop for immigrants, and to push to make Connecticut a sanctuary state.

The protest was organized in response to President-elect Donald Trump's announcement that he intends to "immediately" deport 3 million immigrants within his first 100 days.

On "60 Minutes," Trump said that while he won't follow through right away on campaign promises to deport all undocumented immigrants, he will work to deport those who have committed crimes.

"What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers," he said. Trump added, "We have a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate."

However, he did imply that undocumented immigrants who haven't committed any other crimes may be deported at some point as well.

"After the border is secured and after everything gets normalized, we're going to make a determination on the people that you're talking about who are terrific people," he said.

CIRA is a statewide coalition of immigration advocacy groups, non-profits, labor unions, law firms and immigrants. The goal of the protest, and of the alliance, is to make Connecticut the first sanctuary state in the country. New Haven is already a sanctuary city, which means that police officers and immigration agents cannot arrest undocumented immigrants for their immigration status; there must be a primary criminal offense for them to be approached.

CIRA organizer Renato Muguerza said in a statement announcing the rally, "The rally on Monday will serve to plant a flag firmly in our soil that says -- We're not going anywhere whether you like it or not. We are part of what has made this country great, and we demand to be treated equitably. We urge our legislators to recognize the value that immigrants have brought to the state, and we call on their support in this critical moment of need."

Ahead of the rally, Gov Dan Malloy released the following statement:

We are a nation of immigrants and, here in Connecticut, we celebrate the value immigrant families bring to our communities and the contributions they make to our economy. In 2011, we took the historic step of ensuring that our undocumented students are able to access in-state tuition at institutions of higher education, so that no young person is punished for the actions of their parents, and so that they can still reach their full potential and promise. While the Governor supports an open dialogue about realistic and responsible changes to our federal immigration policy, he does not and will not support deporting our residents to areas where they aren’t going to be safe.