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Syracuse Community Protests Southern Border Refugee Camps

More than 50 Syracuse community members joined others across the nation Friday to protest the refugee camps along the Mexico-United States border.

“Close the camps!, close the camps!, close the camps!...” they chanted.

Worker’s Center of Central New York organizer Kayla Kelechian says President Trump’s immigration policies are adding to a pre-existing problem. 

The Trump administration has abused and broken an outdated immigration system to divide communities, separate families, put children in cages, and create chaos at the border. Jeopardizing both our national security and our commitment to human rights.” said Kelechian.

Credit Scott Willis/WAER News

Also, longtime activist Ursula Rozum spoke to the crowd assembled in front of the federal building.

“As a white family coming from Europe, we have never faced the kind of racial profiling and criminalization that we see immigrants of color facing today and for many, many decades. When we look at the criminalization of migrants right now, it’s an outgrowth of what was called a ‘Prevention Through Deterrence’ policy that was implemented during the Clinton administration.” said Rozum.

Kayla Kelechian also shared the story of a mother’s experience in a border control camp after coming to the United States.

“When we got there all the cells were full, any of us didn’t have any space to move or sleep. There was more than 50 children. The lunch that they gave us was a mere sandwich and a bottle of water. They only came once in a while to give you more information. Then they moved us to a family center, where we were waiting there for more than a week.” said Kelechian.

Kelechian says the mother and her children are together and living in Syracuse.