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Two immigration protests in last 24 hours

Rally supporting immigration rights in front of Rochester's Federal Building

Rochester, N.Y. - Dozens of people rallied in front of the Federal Building in Rochester to take a stance supporting immigration rights.

The protest Friday was the second one in the last 24 hours.

Overnight, protesters gathered outside Customs and Border Protection in Irondequoit after a woman and her 12-year-old brother from Guatemala were detained. U.S. Border Patrol agents were called in by Geneseo Police Thursday. The female driver with seven others in the car, four of them young children, did not have a driver's license, only her passport from Guatemala. That's when the officer made the decision to call Border Patrol.

"We are a country of immigrants, and we've forgotten that. We need to stand up with these people and their rights and make sure we're doing the right thing by them," said Ted Howard, demonstrator.

Leila Cassandra Bocanegra is a senior at SUNY Geneseo, and she said this is personal to her. She was born in the U.S., but her parents are citizens of Mexico.

"My mom left a really good job in Mexico because she knew that I had more opportunities in the United States," said Bocanegra. "She knew that I had the ability to go to college, to have great education."

Bocanegra said both her parents were eventually deported and made their way back. They now call Rochester home.

"I don't want those five kids who are in the car to ever feel like anything was their fault, and that is something I've had to deal with and migrant kids have had to deal with. We need to stop treating people who are here for their families like they've committed the worst crime in the world, because they haven't," she said.

Worker Justice Center is representing the family's case.

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