"Abolish ICE" protester ready to suffer the consequences
Syracuse, N.Y. —
Ten people who protested in Downtown Syracuse last week will face a judge Monday morning, after they were arrested for refusing to leave the federal building they were protesting in.
"We're ready to suffer whatever consequences there are for that," Sheila Sicilia said.
Sicilia, one of the demonstrators, says she wants to use her privilege as a white woman to help minorities she thinks aren't being treated fairly. Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick calls this protest "silly," and says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not to blame for the separation of families at the southern border.
Sicilia, however, says it's more than just about the southern border crisis. She says she has seen ICE deport working parents that had been established in Syracuse for many years.
"I think his imaginary separation of border patrol and ICE – they're really part of the same thing. They are all part of this immigration enforcement mechanism," Sicilia said.
The DA says, while he's all for the first amendment, the jail should focus on others with mental health, drug or alcohol addiction problems.
"We need to concentrate our resources on those people, not some privileged people that graduated from some ivy league school that are in their 60's, reminiscing about the good old days when you could smoke dope on the corner and protest this stuff. That's just not acceptable," Fitzpatrick said.
He adds the demonstrators should've taken a different route.
"If you have a problem with ICE, contact John Katko. Contact Chuck Schumer. Don't bother contacting Gillibrand because she wants to do away with ICE," Fitzpatrick said.
Sicilia says she, and the group that joined her, have reached out to these representatives for years, but nothing has changed.
"We are not looking for anyone to get hurt, but we aren't just going to keep asking and being ignored. We're going to take more action to stop this," Sicilia said.