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Braving cold and snow, Syracuse protesters rally to end deportations

Snow showers and freezing temperatures did not stop protesters in Syracuse from rallying to end the deportation of immigrants on Wednesday. Members of the Workers' Center of CNY demonstrated in support of one of their own.

Dolores Bustamante, a Workers' Center board member, faced an immigration hearing in western New York Wednesday. Some feared Bustamante could have been detained and deported. Minnie Bruce Pratt, of Syracuse, said Bustamante is a linchpin in the fight for humane conditions for immigrant workers.

"We want to be together and we want to be together for Dolores because she has been together with us," Pratt said. "We're going to fight on for Dolores and for all the immigrant workers who are being detained and for all the people who are being targeted. We're going to fight on."

Peter Swords of Syracuse came out with his wife Diane, to remind protesters that everyone living in the country has rights.

"You're not illegal if you're here without documents," Swords said. "You're just here without documents. You haven't committed a crime. When Trump's people are trying to expand deportations and expand raids, we need to stand on our human rights, our civil rights, and guarantee everybody's rights."

Bustamante will face another hearing in a few months. Protesters also called on local state elected officials to support undocumented immigrants being able to obtain a New York state driver's license.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.