New York Governor steps in after aggressive ICE farm raids

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has barred ICE agents from making arrests in state facilities without a warrant. Spencer Platt  Getty Images

As a response to Cuomo's statement in a press conference where he said ICE agents have entered private property without identifying themselves and without a warrant to arrest undocumented immigrants, Homan said that the governor's comments were inaccurate and an insult to ICE's sworn law enforcement officers who conduct their mission professionally and with integrity. He is also threatening legal action. "I thank Governor Cuomo for standing up for our farmers and farm workers and for his commitment to ensure all New Yorkers have equal protection under the law".

"ICE operates on different protocols then city, village, town, county or state law enforcement does, they have their own federal rules and I think that's where the rub is", says Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts who also heads the NYS Sheriff's Association.

The announcement follows an increase in aggressive tactics in ICE raids across NY, especially affecting farms and the agricultural industry.

And he signed an executive order to modify executive order #170-which bans state agencies and officers from asking about an individual's immigration status unless mandated by law-that prohibits ICE arrests in state facilities without a warrant. He said the officers "acted professionally and within their legal authorities under federal immigration law".

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.

Blaming the Trump administration on what he described as an "alarming increase in the rate of arrests", Cuomo was quoted by The Washington Post as saying: "I understand the president is philosophically opposed to what we believe in NY, but I also believe the president is wrong".

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"ICE will continue to protect NY communities against public safety and national security threats and it is false and offensive for the Governor to say otherwise".

NY agricultural production would likely be reduced by more than $1.37 billion or 24 percent. The indirect impact could be even more widespread with the reduction of as many as 23,490 workers employed in other agricultural related fields, including agricultural marketing and processing businesses, farm suppliers, and farm service businesses.

"New York welcomes our immigrant brothers and sisters who bring so much to our state".

Last year, the state unveiled the Liberty Defense Project (LDP), a public-private legal defense fund that provides all immigrants with access to legal counsel whether or not they are undocumented.

In other words, to use just one example, Cuomo wants to protect the most easily deportable illegal immigrants, the ones who broke the law to come into the country and then committed offenses to wind up in jails and prisons.

Since July 2017, the Liberty Defense Project partners have provided more than 10,000 services to immigrants across NY including direct representation in deportation proceedings, other types of direct representation, application assistance, and Know Your Rights Trainings. Once these individuals are reunited with their families and back home in their communities, they are better placed to receive continued legal assistance to prepare their cases in the hopes of finding long-term relief.

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