Dozens rally in support of undocumented immigrant from Hudson

March 01, 2017 12:37 PM

LATHAM - Dozens rallied in support of an undocumented immigrant from Hudson while she had a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in Latham on Wednesday.

Early Wednesday morning, a group of nearly two dozen protestors marched to the Department of Homeland Security building in Latham, ready to support an undocumented immigrant due for a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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"We're here because Maria is one of 11 million undocumented people who live in our country who are currently under threat of deportation and being torn apart from their families," explained Joe Pararone with the New Sanctuary for Immigrants in the Capital District.

Amid chants and cheers, Maria arrived -- accompanied by her niece, clergy and a lawyer.

Maria's husband was picked up in an ICE raid earlier this year and she was interrogated by ICE. Her family says she told them she didn't have identification. It was at that point her family says ICE agents threatened her with deportation.

Maria and her husband have two children, both of whom were born in the United States according to family.

"We're just terrified and I guess we're just here trying to figure out we can do, what could be the next step," explained Gloria Martinez, Maria’s niece.

At one point, someone from inside the building came out and told protestors to leave the property. They refused.

A Colonie police cruiser showed up, but the officer never spoke to the protestors, instead going inside the building.

After meeting inside for almost an hour with immigration officials, Maria came out the doors to cheers and applause.

"What happened today was not, by any means, guaranteed," noted Paparone.

Though Maria will have regular check-in's, her family says an ICE supervisor told her she won't be deported.

"They feel terrorized and they're not doing nothing wrong, they just want to support their family," noted Martinez.

Protestors say they'll be back for her next meeting.

When Paparone was asked if he considers Wednesday’s events a victory, he replied, "Absolutely."


WNYT Staff

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