New York Governor Warns of Legal Action Against ICE Over Future Immigration Raids
New York Governor Andrew M Cuomo issued a cease-and-desist letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on April 25.
In yet another battle between the Trump administration and a “sanctuary” city, the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued a cease-and-desist letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on April 25 following its six-day immigration raids across the state from April 9 to 14, The Washington Post reported.
Calling the ICE raids, in which 225 suspected undocumented immigrants were arrested across the state, “unconstitutional” and “un-American”, the cease and desist letter warned the ICE of legal action if it did not stop “its reckless practices.”
“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,” Cuomo said in a statement:
Cuomo also signed an executive order which prohibits ICE agents from making any arrests in state government buildings without presenting valid judicial warrants.
Today we put ICE on notice.
They are violating the law and endangering public safety.
My cease and desist notice to ICE: pic.twitter.com/VK6knsYiOJ
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 25, 2018
However, according to the agency, 180 of the 225 arrested in what is dubbed as “Operation Keep Safe”, had criminal convictions or pending charges. ICE Deputy Director Thomas D Homan responded to the cease and desist order on April 25, releasing a statement that said the agency will refuse to “cease and desist from fulfilling our agency’s congressionally mandated mission of enforcing federal law.”
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.
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 New York, but I also believe the president is wrong. I believe he is wrong in his policy. I believe that’s not what America is all about, because immigration is not just the New York story. It is the American story.”
ICE, meanwhile, attributed the high number of arrests to the “non-cooperation” of the “so called sanctuary city.” “ICE has no choice but to continue to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community,” the agency said in a statement earlier.
Recently, a federal appeals court in Chicago ruled that U.S. Justice Department cannot withhold federal funds for law enforcement in Sanctuary cities.