By Mye Owens SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – As immigration continues to be a hot political topic, Syracuse resident recently came together to demand changes to the nation’s policies.
Residents, politicians and children gathered outside of U.S. Representative John Katko’s office Thursday with toys in hand. Several residents spoke on how they feel about President Trump’s immigration policies, including Democratic Congressional candidate Dana Balter and Syracuse Common Councilor Joe Driscoll.
Residents brought the toys to represent children. With the focus of the rally being on the separation of children from their families, protesters brought the toys to give Rep. Katko a real representation of what is left behind from President Trump’s immigration order.
While residents gathered together with toys, some thought of their own children. Emily Brown says it’s the main reason that motivated her to come to her first rally.
“I woke up in the night, I went in my daughter’s room and I thought about how it would feel if my child was taken from me and I was overwhelmed with emotion and there are differences on immigration policy but having camps for kids is so far beyond where our country should be,” she said.
Children were at the center of the issue Thursday. Residents like Misse Ross say’s she wants change directly from Rep. Katko. She says she simply wants the families reunited.
Ross say’s battling Katko is nothing new to her.
“I’ve been standing out here for two years now, with most of all of these people out here today. I have never in my life been as upset as I am right now when our country is justifying kidnapping over 200 children,” she continues.
Representative released a statement to show residents where he stands on immigration.
“We must keep our borders secure, however, we must do so in a humane way that preserves family unity and keeps young children safe,” he stated in a press release.
Even though Katko came out with a statement not supporting the separation of families, some Syracuse residents felt the statement was not enough of an answer on where he stood on the issue, especially after being with Vice President Pence just two days ago.
Despite many people gathering in protest of Katko, other residents walked through the rally stating their support of Katko and President Trump, saying “Shame on Cuomo” and “Go Trump!”