New York, NY—Yesterday, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that a former armed security guard named Jimmy Solano-Arias was indicted for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting an asylum seeker inside of a locked room at 26 Federal Plaza. Solana-Arias worked for a company contracted by the Federal Protective Service to provide security for the Department of Homeland Security, and was allegedly in uniform with a gun on his waistband at the time of the incident.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:
“The alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of an asylum seeker by an armed guard at 26 Federal Plaza is morally reprehensible on every level. Asylum seekers are forced to leave their home countries due to violence and persecution, often overcoming near-impossible conditions on their journeys to the Southern border and eventually to New York City. Yet, only to arrive in New York City to be traumatized inside a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) building by an armed security guard, is beyond deplorable. We call on the federal and city governments to make sure this individual is given the proper mental health and social service support he needs to move past this experience, and on DHS to make sure that not only is this case fully investigated and all people held accountable, but also that protocols are put in place to ensure nothing like this ever happens again while anyone is in a government building.”