Extremes Vibrate

For Carolyn Maloney, A Tale of Two Weekends

David Stone
Carolyn Maloney on a perfect Roosevelt Island Day. 24 hours later, she faced Trump-style hell in New Jersey.
Carolyn Maloney on a perfect Roosevelt Island Day. 24 hours later, she faced Trump-style hell in New Jersey.
Photo courtesy of Frank Farance

The weekend started out pleasantly enough, strolling through a crowd of constituents on a sunny Saturday on Roosevelt Island, looking for support in primary balloting on June 26th. On Sunday, she faced Trump's unimaginable cruelty on a trip to New Jersey.

Roosevelt Island Day is mandatory for local politicians. They come out to be photographed, listen to constituent concerns and, in an election year, to solicit support. State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright was there as was State Senator José Serrano, Jr.

And 12th District Congressional Representative Carolyn Maloney made time in her campaign schedule to visit the event. As she posed for photos, you could see what even her Republican opponent, Robert Ardini, in 2016 saw: regardless of politics, everyone likes Carolyn Maloney.

24 hours later, it was as if she'd fallen into an alternative, dystopian universe. Maloney joined other Democratic House Members for a Father's Day visit to the Elizabeth Contract Detention Facility in Elizabeth, N.J. They met with arrested immigrants separated from their families, according to a story in the New York Post.

After being forced to wait more than an hour, they met with five men, according to the Post's report, who seek asylum in the U.S. Two had their young children taken away from them, and one was separated from his 7-year-old brother.

The men haven’t been told where their children are, New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone told the Post. One thinks his 5-year-old is in Michigan, but he isn’t sure.

“He got on his knees and begged,” Pallone said. Another man believes his 12-year-old daughter is in a New York detention center.

“She clung to him as they were taken from him and he was crying while we were talking to him,” Pallone said. “These people came here because they were being murdered, tortured, they were being prosecuted.”

Maloney was not quoted in the article, but the horror of confronting the worst of Trump's cruelty contrasted with Saturday on Roosevelt Island must have been as great an emotional bridge as most politicians will ever voluntarily cross.

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