Turns Out If You Wear “Abolish ICE” Tee Shirts To The Statue Of Liberty You Won’t Be Allowed In

A New York couple attempting to tour the Statue of Liberty last month (July 14th) was refused entry because they were wearing “Abolish ICE” t-shirts.

Tiffany Huang was gifted the pre-paid tickets from her fiancé, in June, for her birthday—she’d never visited the statue before. In an interview with Gothamist, the couple said they, “felt we needed to acknowledge the symbolism of visiting the Statue of Liberty.” The couple said they were responding to President Trump’s family separation policy which has resulted in 2,000+ children being separated from their parents at the US border, according to Time

They exercised their freedom of speech by wearing homemade t-shirts adorned with the “Abolish ICE” slogan, but federal employees at the security checkpoint ordered them to change out of them before touring the statue. When they refused, they were escorted out by security guards. 

The couple told Gothamist:

We did not have any plans for any other sort of action—just exercising our right to free speech.

Here’s the story on Twitter:

Twitter wasn’t having it:

After being stopped at the security checkpoint, the couple told Gothamist:

A second security person came over to tell us he couldn’t let us on the tour with our shirts. He said it was our ‘choice’ to either change or put on clothes over our t-shirts, or leave. So we said we would rather leave, and another security person walked us back out through security.

Although the security guards defended their actions by referencing the July 4th incident when a protester scaled the Statue of Liberty, the National Park Service admits it was a “misstep,” and New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has classified the act as illegal viewpoint discrimination. 

The irony was not lost on commenters:

The couple was invited back to visit the statue on Friday. And yes, they plan on wearing their “Abolish ICE” t-shirts. 

H/T: Gothamist, Twitter