illegal immigrants

Kevin Fitzpatrick / WAER News

Over 300 protesters met outside of the Embassy Suites near Destiny USA Tuesday to decry the arrival of Vice President Mike Pence.  He stopped in Syracuse  for a $1,000 per plate fundraiser for the reelection campaign of Republican Congressman John Katko.

Tom Drumm is a protest organizer and member of Speak Out CNY.   He says the protestors represented an array of organizations and causes, but all feel that Katko and his colleagues need to do more to rein in the Trump administration.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Local activists want Customs and Border Patrol out of Central New York transit.  About two dozen members and supporters of the Immigrant and Refugee Defense Network rallied in front of the Regional Transportation Center today demanding that companies deny Customs the ability to raid buses and trains for undocumented immigrants.  Attorney Herve Comeau says Customs enforces raids selectively, targeting people they think “look foreign.”

Scott Willis / WAER News

A crowd of about 100 Central New Yorkers marched along Syracuse City streets Monday to oppose Trump administration immigration policies.  Demonstrators chose this specific day to send a direct message, chanting "immigrants are welcome here." 

Chris Bolt / WAER News

Four Syracuse-area churches are joining together to open their doors to undocumented immigrants and refugees who fear federal immigration actions.  Father Fred Daley of All Saints Roman Catholic Church says policy changes have not been made to help immigrants, regardless of their status.  He also blames Washington with spreading false fears and stereotypes.

Jon Shames / WAER News

Chants for freedom reverberated through the streets of downtown Syracuse Thursday as dozens of activists gathered to urge Congressmember John Katko to co-sponsor what they call a "Clean Dream Act." It’s part of a coordinated nationwide Dream Act Week of Action while Congress is in recess.  Gustavo Andrade is director of leadership development with United We Dream. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

Immigrants’ rights activists gathered in front of Rep. John Katko’s office today protesting the Trump administration’s planned repeal of DACA.  The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program provides protection for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, including an estimated 20,000 in Upstate New York.  New York Immigration Coalition representative Meghan Maloney de Valdivar believes that DACA recipients must rely on the hard work and resourcefulness that got the order signed to begin with.

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Advocates in here in Syracuse and in New York State are standing behind refugees and immigrants against policy statements from Washington. In the wake of Attorney General Sessions’ threat to cut funding from sanctuary cities, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is holding firm, even after a threat by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to cut funds from sanctuary cities.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner announced Monday her support for a campaign that aims to give Central New Yorkers driver's licenses regardless of immigration status.  About two dozen activists at the Worker’s Center of Central New York looked on as she signed a document urging the state to approve Green Light New York.  Miner says a license not only allows people to have access to community resources but also makes the roads safer.

Scott willis / WAER News

A Syracuse-based immigration attorney says President Obama’s executive order to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation is a good first step…but could have gone farther. Jose Perez says even though the action is based on family unity, it doesn’t help everyone.  

Under the president’s executive order, undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and have children born in the U.S. would get a reprieve from deportation and be eligible to apply for work permits.  Perez says he’s already getting calls from clients asking if they qualify.  

Immigrant farmworkers are among those who say they appreciate the president's efforts, but the executive order won't help many of them.  

Naturally, republicans in congress are furious, and say the president’s action all but kills any future chances for comprehensive immigration reform.  Immigration attorney Jose Perez wonders wants to ask them why.