Local immigration advocates chime in on ICE crackdown

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Small turnout for the event in Newburgh

NEWBURGH – As ICE agents swooped down on major US cities beginning on Sunday area immigrant rights advocates expressed their views and concerns.

“As long as we know our rights, we should be able to fight back,” said Vanessa Cid of Middletown. “As long as we know we are not criminals, we can stand up for ourselves.”

Jessica Moss, an intern at Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson and junior at Vassar College, also weighed in on the raids.

“It’s probably very frightening for people in the community,” Moss said. “Most are residents who have lived in the community for years and years, so we at Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson work to ensure that everyone has their rights.”

Kingston resident Diana Lopez is disheartened by the raids, but wants to make sure the undocumented immigrant community is safe. She is frustrated by the entire situation.

“I want people to know they have rights, that they don’t have to answer any questions, to open the door,” Lopez said. “It makes me angry because they are not even following their policies so they expect us to follow their policies.”

Activists Dot and Greg Winner have been fighting for the rights of underserved communities in Orange County for years, and this issue is no exception.

“I have concerns that immigrants might be targeted by police more than they are now,” said Dot.

“If you ask anyone who is Hispanic and living here, they are all working,” said Greg. “Every hundred of years or so, we have this issue where a new group comes in and we have to hate them, but we are all immigrants.”