An undocumented Syracuse immigrant has been released on bail after a court hearing Tuesday in western New York. Organizers from the Workers’ Center of Central New York traveled to the federal detention center in Batavia to support Hector Navarro. He was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, at his Syracuse home on December 21st. WAER News caught up with Nikeeta Slade from the Workers’ Center while she was in Batavia. She says his bond demonstrates how important he is to the community.
"The judge did acknowledge there were nine of of there supporting him, posting bond. We've been very public with his campaign, and he's had a lot of widespread public support here in Batavia, Rochester, and western New York”
Members of the Syracuse community helped Navarro post five-thousand dollar bail. Navarro is from Guatemala and has been in the U-S since 2004. Slade says he has lived in Syracuse for nearly seven years. She says Tuesday's hearing is just the latest in a series of proceedings.
“His lawyers are in the process of trying to file and asylum case. That will be the next step to make sure Hector is able to stay home. Of course we're going to keep fighting.”
Slade says Navarro is an immigrant leader in the community. But she says his case appears to be part of an increased effort to deport undocumented immigrants, even cases like Navarro’s case which are considered low-priority.
“Their cases have been administratively closed. Now, with Trump...we just heard from the director of ICE they're just picking up anybody who’s undocumented.”
Slade says Navarro’s next court appearance is set for March 8th. Navarro’s wife has her next immigration check-in on February 28th. The couple has three U.S. born children.