Federal immigration brokers look like “focusing on” plenty of “immigrant rights leaders throughout america,” New York congresspeople cost.
In a letter to the Division of Homeland Safety obtained by the Every day Information, Reps. Nydia Velázquez and Joe Crowley demand a sit-down with Immigration and Customized Enforcement brass about “the rash of enforcement actions in opposition to immigrant rights leaders.”
The New York Dems’ Jan. 26 letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — which was signed by an extra 29 legislators — comes weeks after ICE detained immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir throughout a routine check-in in decrease Manhattan.
Their letter additionally cites the company’s therapy of different outstanding immigrant rights activists nationwide, equivalent to Eliseo Jurado, whom ICE is detaining in Colorado, and Maru Mora-Villalpando, who might quickly be deported.
In addition they point out Jean Montrevil — whom ICE lately deported to Haiti.
“As Members of Congress, we write to specific our collective concern concerning Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) latest focusing on of immigrant rights leaders throughout america,” the letter states. “Regardless of their goodwill, nearly all of these leaders face separation from the communities that they name house.”
“Given the rash of enforcement actions in opposition to immigrant rights leaders, we respectfully request a gathering with you to debate the intent of present enforcement actions in opposition to such individuals,” the letter additionally says.
In an announcement, Velázquez and Crowley stated, “There is a clear, appalling sample of ICE focusing on leaders within the immigrant group who’re talking out in opposition to President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.”
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“This apply is morally unacceptable and has a chilling impact on leaders who rise up for his or her rights and their neighbors. We intend to carry DHS and ICE accountable to seek out out why that is occurring,” they stated.
Requested for remark, ICE insisted the company “focuses its enforcement assets on people who pose a risk to nationwide safety, public security and border safety” — not their activism.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t goal unlawfully current aliens for arrest based mostly on advocacy positions they maintain or in retaliation for vital feedback they make,” ICE stated in an announcement. “Any suggestion on the contrary is irresponsible, speculative and inaccurate.”
A rep for Velázquez stated, “ICE can spin these numbers all it desires, however the truth is we’re seeing a rash of situations the place immigrants who pose zero risk are being focused and, coincidentally, they occur to be group leaders.”
“The Congresswoman will press these companies for a proof on this troubling development,” the spokesman stated.
Velazquez and Crowley plan to publicly launch the letter Saturday morning exterior the Javits Federal Constructing — the place Ragbir was detained on Jan. 11.