ICE deputy director responds to Gov. Cuomo's 'false and offensive' criticism

Gov. Cuomo sent a cease-and-desist letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan

Following aggressive ICE raids on NY farms last week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has issued a cease and desist letter to ICE to demand the immediate stop of unconstitutional enforcement actions.

When asked to respond to the Cuomo's statements, Homan said,"There's only one politician in this conversation, and that's the governor". He said the officers "acted professionally and within their legal authorities under federal immigration law". In addition to the letter, Cuomo signed an executive order to prohibit ICE arrests in state facilities in addition to prohibiting state agencies, and law enforcement from inquiring about immigration status - unless investigating a crime.

John Collins said the agents who entered his farm in the Town of Lee did not identify themselves or produce a warrant before they arrested farmhand Marcial de Leon Aguilar on charges that he unlawfully re-entered the US following several previous deportations.

"The reckless and unconstitutional practices ICE is deploying in our communities violate everything we believe in NY and are an assault on our democracy", Cuomo said in a prepared statement.

Cuomo issued a "cease-and-desist" letter to ICE days after they concluded an immigration raid in New York City and its surrounding counties, picking up 225 suspected undocumented immigrants, 180 of whom had criminal convictions or pending charges, according to the agency. "After detaining our clients through warrantless arrests, ICE has a pattern and practice of failing to produce these individuals for subsequent criminal court hearings". These fearless men and woman leave the safety of their homes every day to protect this great nation and our communities.

As The Washington Post noted, the legal force of a cease-and-desist letter from a state governor to a government agency is unclear.

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While the bill is preventative, past year the Metro Nashville Council discussed but later dropped an ordinance restricting local agencies' ability to cooperate with federal immigration authorities beyond what the law requires.

The bill, which easily passed both houses, would deny certain state economic and community grants to municipalities that adopt so-called "sanctuary city policies" and would require law enforcement agencies to enter into memorandums of agreement with federal officials concerning enforcement of federal immigration laws.

He said the agency has arrested almost 5,000 "criminal aliens" - undocumented immigrants who have criminal convictions on their record - since September 2016.

Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), said the organization's upstate partners in central and western New York have been working on the ground from Rome to Rochester to highlight the "tragic deportations and fear" that ICE has brought about in the state's immigrant communities.

"The governor supports these policies at the expense of the safety of the very same communities he took an oath to protect", Homan said. Aguilar has been convicted of reckless aggravated assault and illegal re-entry.

The Governor says the actions by ICE are a serious disregard of the law and endangering public safety.

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