New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not happy with ICE after a recent raid and has sent the acting director a cease and desist order, threatening to sue the federal organization if what he considers appropriate action is not taken. ICE officials, during Operation Keep Safe in New York, arrested 225 illegal immigrants, but Cuomo said their tactics were illegal and unconstitutional:
“The tactics deployed by agents under your leadership have become increasingly reckless and reflect a serious disregard for the rule of law. As reflected in news reports and individual accounts, the irresponsible, and in many cases, illegal conduct of members of your agency is eroding trust in the foundations of our communities, threatening the sanctity of our public institutions and unnecessarily stoking terror among law-abiding residents under the guise of promoting homeland security and public safety.”
Cuomo uses a young farmer, John Collins, as an example. According to the governor, ICE illegally went onto the property and “aggressively” questioned one of the workers. When Collins tried to video the exchange, the ICE agents reportedly handcuffed him and threw his phone on the ground. ICE is also accused of targeting those who are outspoken about the government. Cuomo’s order warns that ICE will need to change their ways, or else:
“Your actions run counter to your stated mission, and to federal and state law. As such, you must cease and desist in this pattern of conduct immediately, direct your agents operating in New York to follow the clear constitutional requirements attendant to searches and arrests, stop illegally targeting individuals based on their constitutionally protected speech, and properly engage state and local law enforcement when performing any enforcement action within the State of New York. If you fail to do so, I will explore and pursue all available legal recourse, taking any such action that is necessary to protect the rights and safety of all New Yorkers.”
ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan reacted with his own statement, saying he was disappointed to hear about the governor’s “grandstanding.” “The Governor’s comments were inaccurate and an insult to ICE’s sworn law enforcement officers who conduct their lawful mission professionally and with integrity,” Homan said.
The director blamed sanctuary status as part of the problem, saying: “The Governor supports these policies at the expense of the safety of the very same communities he took an oath to protect.” According to the statement, ICE has captured nearly 5,000 criminal illegals in New York since 2016.
Homan responded to the governor’s accusations, stating the examples of misconduct with illegal aliens he used were dealt with in a professional manner. He added that Ravi Ragbir and Marcial DeLeon-Aguilar, two of the immigrants picked up in the ICE sweep that Cuomo referred to, were convicted felons. DeLeon-Aguilar is a three-time prior deportee with felony convictions for aggravated assault as well as illegal re-entry into the U.S. which is also a felony.
Cuomo made recent headlines and became the target for disgruntled immigration activists when he boldly claimed he was “undocumented” and that ICE should come and arrest him too. However, he is not undocumented, and his parents were born in Queens, New York.
As the battles rage and a war balances precariously on the brink between ICE and sanctuary cities and states, the government is not backing away from their responsibilities and determination in illegal immigration control efforts. A press release from ICE details the New York operation, including a list of some of the more dangerous illegal criminals captured. Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York, had this to say about sanctuary cities and ICE’s continued efforts:
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“The fact is that a so-called “sanctuary city” does not only provide refuge to those who are here against immigration law, but also provides protections for criminal aliens who prey on the people in their own communities by committing crimes at all levels. ICE is committed to enforcing the immigration laws set forth by Congress with integrity, despite the push-back and rhetoric within the city they serve.”