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Plight of Immigrants & Family Separation Policy Draw Protests in Syracuse and Across US

John Smith/WAER News

Protestors across the nation and here in Syracuse are calling on Congress to end the separation of children from parents among people at the border and other immigrants. 

Robin Best of Manlius took part in today’s March and rally.  She believes the policy for those trying to gain asylum in the United States will have long-term effects.

“These children that are being separated from their parents are going to be living with this post-traumatic stress for the rest of their lives.  I just can’t believe this is happening in America.  And what I’m really outraged about is that congress does not seem to be very outraged.”

Credit John Smith/WAER News
Protestors marched from John Katko's congressional district office in Syracuse to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office.

Their demonstration comes as Congress is considering a compromise immigration bill that would end the separation of children from parents.  It would also allow the DACA-program ‘dreamers’ to stay in the US.  Best has not seen anything to convince her that the republican led Congress and Syracuse Representative John Kato are ready to make progress on the sticky issue of immigration.

“I’m not holding out a lot of hope but I think he should know what he’s standing for right now is just not acceptable.  And if he doesn’t do something pretty darn quick, we’re going to vote him out.” 

Ursula Rosum of Syracuse Immigrant and Refugee Defense Network is hoping to see action in Washington.

“So we really want John Katko to stand up against what Attorney General Sessions is doing.  Even the United Nations has spoken out against this new policy in the US.  So there’s outrage around the country and around the world.” 

Credit John Smith/WAER News

Protestors marched from Katko’s office to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office.  Denia Price of Manlius worries immigration policies that harm children might have negative impacts.

“What really frightens me, along with all the horrors that are happening, this will be a whole generation of people that will grow up hating the United States.  What are we in this country that we would allow this to happen?” 

The Workers Center of Central New York and the C-N-Y Solidarity Coalition also helped organize the rally.

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.