(Batavia, NY) – In January, people in downtown Ithaca witnessed three public daytime immigration arrests. As federal immigration arrests have increased across New York, so has activism against immigration policies.
In Syracuse, Hector and Arely Navarro’s three kids worry every day that their mother won’t come home from work. That’s because federal agents picked up their dad one morning after he dropped her off just before Christmas.
He’s been held at the federal detention center in Batavia – between Rochester and Buffalo.
Tuesday morning, protesters rallied outside the building before Navarro’s court hearing was about to start. The rally was organized by the Workers’ Center of Central New York. Navarro’s wife didn’t attend. In a statement she sent to be read, she said she was too afraid of the place and what might happen.
Some of his supporters held a large sign with a butterfly on it that said “No Human Being is Illegal.”
Religious leaders have spoken out against current changes to immigration policy. Paul Welch, with the Syracuse Catholic Diocese, attended the rally.
“Our laws are sad, outdated, punitive. They punish not only the people that we incarcerate. They punish the country itself. It’s insane, the policy.”
After the morning’s hearing, Navarro was freed to go home, but he will have to go back because he’s got another court date in two weeks. His wife has to check in with immigration officials on February 28.