ICE raids worry local farms

Leroy Wright
April 29, 2018

Andrew Cuomo sent a cease-and-desist letter to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Wednesday, accusing the agency of illegal and "aggressive" tactics in recent immigration raids in ny.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan responded hours later with a six-paragraph statement that accused Cuomo of "grandstanding". The alleged undocumented immigrant, Marcial De Leon-Aguilar, a native of Guatemala had past convictions for aggravated assault and illegal reentry, ICE said.

Authorities responded Tuesday afternoon to Hampton-in-Highland Apartments at 44th Street and Prairie Avenue, where the person was found with seven other people who were also arrested by ICE for "immigration violations", he said.

The unusual move came after armed ICE agents arrested a worker at a farm in Rome last week. "I demand ICE immediately cease and desist this pattern of conduct, and if they fail to do so, I will pursue all available legal recourse and commit to doing everything in my power to protect the rights and safety of all New Yorkers". That worker was later arrested and is still being detained.

It's unclear what the legal status is for a cease-and-desist letter from a governor to a federal agency, The Post reported.

Blaming the Trump administration on what he described as an "alarming increase in the rate of arrests", Cuomo was quoted by The Washington Post as saying: "I understand the president is philosophically opposed to what we believe in NY, but I also believe the president is wrong. ICE can not and will not cease and desist from fulfilling our agency's congressionally mandated mission of enforcing federal law".

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According to a report released by Farm Credit East, which is based on 2012 Census data, it is estimated approximately 1,080 NY farms would be impacted by the deportation of undocumented agricultural workers, forcing these farms to go out of business or significantly reduce their operations.

While the bill is preventative, previous year the Metro Nashville Council discussed but later dropped an ordinance restricting local agencies' ability to cooperate with federal immigration authorities beyond what the law requires. These fearless men and woman leave the safety of their homes every day to protect this great nation and our communities.

However, according to the agency, 180 of the 225 arrested in what is dubbed as "Operation Keep Safe", had criminal convictions or pending charges.

"The governor supports these policies at the expense of the safety of the very same communities he took an oath to protect", Homan said.

And maybe someday we'll all be able to look back to a time when the rule of law - combined with the compassion that has been an American hallmark - returns as a bedrock tenet in our cities, states and country. And in neighboring New Jersey, of the 60 illegal immigrants detained in a similar enforcement action last week, 80 percent were convicted criminals. In the letter, the Governor condemns the agency's irresponsible patterns of conduct that target immigrants and jeopardize public safety.

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