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Upstate farm worker Dolores Bustamante loses asylum appeal

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Dolores Bustamante, a Wayne County apple farm worker, and a group of her supporters sat through a seven-hour court hearing Tuesday at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia. And before she went inside the facility that morning, a crowd of people rallied around her, chanting “Dolores, aguanta, el Pueblo se levanta” (“Dolores, endure, the people are raising up"). But despite the support in and outside the courtroom, Bustamante lost her case for asylum and will be deported. Her attorney will appeal, supporters said.

Bustamante and her then 3-year-old daughter fled their home in Mexico 14 years ago  to escape an abusive relationship. She has been an apple farm worker in Wayne County for several years, and has been active as a farmworkers' rights advocate. But she is an undocumented immigrant, and when state troopers pulled her over in 2014 for speeding, they handed her over to federal immigration authorities.

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