Tiffany Huang and Sam Lewin were turned away from the Statue of Liberty for wearing t-shirts that said “Abolish ICE.”
The two bought tickets to visit the statue in June. After seeing the impact of Trump’s family separation policy, they decided to mark their July visit by wearing homemade shirts that said “Abolish ICE.”
“We were inspired by a desire to raise attention to the contradiction between what the statue symbolizes and our current immigration policy,” they stated. “Thousands of people visit the Statue of Liberty every day. We wanted people to think about what it stands for in the current era.”
The Statue of Liberty has become a site to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies. On July 4, Therese Patricia Okoumou scaled the statue and refused to leave until “all the children have been released.”
Security would not let the couple on the tour because of their shirts even though Huang and Lewin said they were not planning to engage in “any other sort of action.”
The couple contracted the NYCLU after the incident and, in August, were able to successfully tour the statue while wearing their shirts.
“We sincerely appreciate the NYCLU’s support in arranging our trip back to the statue and in addressing this obvious free speech issue with the National Park Service,” they stated. “The return trip went smoothly, and we are grateful that future visitors will be able to exercise their First Amendment rights in confronting the Trump administration’s horrific treatment of immigrants and refugees.”