Saturday 26 November 2022
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Gov. Cuomo Issues Cease and Desist Letter After ICE Raid in Rome

cuomo - newAfter a raid on an upstate dairy farm, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to sue federal immigration officials due to the agency’s “irresponsible patterns” of performance. A cease and desist letter was issued to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency by Cuomo for their behaviors that target immigrants and simultaneously endanger the public.

The letter was issued after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested a worker from John Collins’ farm in Rome. According to Collins, the agents did not identify themselves or show him a warrant for the arrest. He also said the agents damaged his cellphone and handcuffed him when he began trying to record what was happening.

ICE said the agents did have a warrant but did not respond to questions about the agents’ actions. Cuomo declared the officer’s actions disregarded the worker’s Constitutional rights.

Cuomo wrote to the deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “The reckless and unconstitutional practices ICE is deploying in our communities violate everything we believe in New York and are an assault on our democracy. 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.”

Along with the cease and desist letter, Cuomo also signed an executive order prohibiting ICE arrests in state facilities without a warrant. Under this order, state agencies are not allowed to ask about an individual’s immigration status, unless required by law. Additionally, law enforcement officers are not allowed to inquire about immigration status except if it’s required for an investigation of illegal criminal activities.

With immigrants accounting for about 13% of the U.S. population, there has been a noticeable increase in aggressiveness with ICE raids throughout New York. These raids have especially targeted the farming and agricultural industries. Following these increasingly aggressive tactics, Cuomo directed New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado to advance funding to the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights and the Vera Institute of Justice.

According to a Farm Credit East report, about 1,080 farms in New York would be affected by undocumented agricultural workers being deported. So without a way to ensure these undocumented workers who clear background checks can receive U.S. work visas, there is a significant risk of the agricultural industry losing a major part of their workforce.

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