NEW YORK, NY – Today, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order prohibiting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from entering state facilities to arrest alleged undocumented immigrants without a judicial warrant, as well as reaffirming his policy that state agencies cannot ask individuals about their immigration status.
Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
"We applaud the Governor for standing up against the Trump deportation machine to protect immigrant New Yorkers whether they’re at a hospital, school drop-off, state parks, or the marriage bureau. Thanks to our upstate partners in Central and Western New York, who have been working on the ground from Rome to Rochester to highlight the tragic deportations and fear ICE has caused in New York's immigrant communities."
ICE has been aggressively going after immigrants in Upstate New York, including at their places of work.
Last week, ICE agents detained Marcial de Leon Aguilar, a farm worker. John Collins, Rome dairy farm owner and Aguilar's employer, says that the ICE agents did not have a warrant to come onto his property or arrest his employee. Collins contacted our partners at the Workers' Center of Central NY (WCCNY) after the incident. Since then, WCCNY, Syracuse Immigrants Refugee Defense Network, Hiscock Legal Aid Society, Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, and Syracuse Peace Council have been working on Aguilar’s legal defense, providing services to Aguilar’s wife and children, and standing in solidarity.
“There should be consequences for attacks and violations like the one that happened at this dairy farm. Unfortunately this is something that we see everyday, CBP is on our bus station everyday. While immigrants are on the bus, in their cars, or in their work, they are being arrested and ripped away from their families. We are thrilled that this case has gotten so much deserved attention, however we want to make sure that Marcial and his family are not forgotten, and that they remain the center of the story,” said Rebecca Fuentes, Organizer from the Workers Center of Central NY.
“The brutality and escalation of ICE roundups of peaceful people of color has begun to look like ethnic cleansing by deportation. I commend Governor Cuomo for making a moral stand in defense of all New Yorkers including Marcial de Leon Aguilar and his family,” said Lilian Jeng-Wheeler, Member of the Syracuse Immigrant and Refugee Defense Network.