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CNY Workers Group Take Part in Immigration Protest at Fed Detention Center

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Members of the Workers Center of Central New York are in Batavia Tuesday evening to protest what they see as militaristic, violent and unfair immigration policies. 

A vigil at a federal detention center there with as many as 30 other groups will focus on detainees that could be deported without a trial.  Workers Center Coordinator Caroline Kim Tihanyi  says undocumented workers don’t get public defenders and are often taken from their families.  She favors immigration reform that would be less traumatic.

“I know people would love to see a path to citizenship so they can come out of the shadows, get a driver’s license and not live in fear.  But at the same time it’s difficult to be in favor of legislation that’s going to result in more deaths of people that are coming over.”  

Tihany favors policy changes that could keep families together…especially when undocumented workers have no criminal past.

“I’ve seen cases where families have been destroyed by this, where the sole bread winner, maybe the person in deportation hearings, and an American-citizen spouse and children are left in terrible trauma for losing, for example, the husband but also deep economic trouble.” 

Tihanyi adds detainees have to put up their entire bail…and don’t have access to public defenders for their deportation hearings.  Immigration Proposals in congress include harsher border security measures, along with a path to citizenship for some.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.