President Trump further divides our country with his immigration ban and plans to build the wall. Last Friday he signed the executive order to ban nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Since then the week has brought countless protests, demonstrations and solidarity rallies.

Over 1,000 people gathered at Syracuse's Hancock International Airport on Sunday to oppose Trump's actions and to come together in solidarity for those being detained. The event was organized in just 18 hours yet still garnered tremendous support. I attended the peaceful event where protesters of all ages, gender, race and religion were present.

Every rally or protest I've gone to has been eye opening and empowering. Seeing Americans come together to fight for our rights and support one another makes me believe in this country. I felt so alone after the election results, yet millions were sharing the same feeling. The more hate Trump spreads, the stronger our numbers will grow and our voices will be heard.

Kaitlyn Robertson
Kaitlyn Robertson

Syracuse Mayor, Stephanie Miner, addressed the crowd with powerful words. "There are moments in history where you cannot be silent and we have found ourselves in such a moment. I want to tell you that your voices mean more than you will ever know. At this time, we have to make sure that we don't stay silent..." We interviewed Miner on Tuesday's show to gain more insight on her views of the Trump ban and funding for sanctuary cities.

Have you ever sat down and had a real conversation with a refugee living in your area? In our interview with Trinh Truong, who came here seeking refuge with her mother in 2001, it's clear that refugees are some of the hardest working people in the community. Trinh graduated valedictorian from Proctor High and is now studying at Yale University. She plans to go into law to continue advocating for human rights after graduation.

Utica has been a safe haven for refugees for decades and our diversity is truly the strength of our community. We are not 'crying and whining' without purpose, we are fighting with and for our own neighbors. Learn more about the folks in your own community; Whichever political party you belong to we have more in common then you'd think.

MORE: Meeting at Mohawk Valley Refugees Center


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