Immigrant advocates push Albany for driver’s licenses
NEW YORK, NY – Yesterday, a Brooklyn appeals court ruled that local police cannot detain an immigrant on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, affirming the long-standing belief held by advocates and localities that local authorities cannot honor a detainer from ICE.
In response, Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said:
“This is a victory for immigrant New Yorkers, but also illustrates the importance of the state protecting all New Yorkers by expanding driver’s licenses. Like the original plaintiff in this case, no one should have to choose between dropping their kids off at the doctor and being detained and possibly deported. Now that Democrats in Albany occupy the Governor’s mansion and both houses of the Legislature, we expect them to deliver.”
This decision was based on a case where Susai Francis, an immigrant from India, was arrested on Long Island in June 2017 for driving drunk. Francis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge, but when a judge ordered his release, he was taken back into custody by Suffolk County sheriffs who had received a detainer order from ICE.
Francis entered the country on a visitor’s visa in 1996, but never left and had an order of removal. Francis was transferred to a federal detention facility in New Jersey pending deportation.