ICE officials confirmed on May 11 that they raided five homes on the East End of Long Island in New York over the week of May 7, arresting 18 people who they said lacked immigration status. Some of those arrested were named on administrative warrants for having failed to comply with prior removal orders; others were found in the raided homes and were determined to lack immigration status. Southampton Village police provided two marked cars as ICE agents raided two houses in the village at 5:30 AM (it was not clear what day the operation took place).
The raid comes at a time when Southampton Town and Southampton Village are embroiled in a legal action over efforts by the village to allow day laborers to use a park as a gathering place to seek work. Three other houses, two in Southampton outside the village and one in Hampton Bays, also were raided, according to ICE spokesperson Michael Gilhooly. Of the 18 people arrested, six were found to have criminal records and two others were charged with re-entering the United States after previously being deported, a felony. The other 10 were determined to be in the country without permission from the federal government. Several of them were released after processing and face hearings in federal immigration court later this month, according to a source familiar with the operation. The raid follows a similar action in East Hampton earlier this year. (Newsday, May 12)
According to a report in the New York Spanish-language daily El Diario-La Prensa, three immigrants were arrested in a similar recent raid on a home in Westbury, Long Island, and at least two of them were deported to Mexico on May 9. All three men were married and had US- born children. Victorina Hernandez, whose husband was deported, said the agents claimed to be looking for a bearded man named “Jose,” and showed a photo of him. Hernandez said her husband told the agents he didn’t know the man. They asked him if he had documents and he said no, and by that time “there were already eight men in the house, entering the bedrooms, looking for people all over the place and asking us all if we had documents,” Hernandez said. Her husband, Miguel Mesa, told her later by telephone that the agents followed the same routine in several other homes where they also arrested people. Mesa said in all the cases the agents initially identified themselves as police, then as immigration agents. Speaking in fluent Spanish, the agents showed the same photograph of “Jose” before searching all the rooms in the home. (El Diario-La Prensa, May 14)
New Jersey: 217 arrested in sweep
On May 1, ICE announced that its three New Jersey-based “fugitive operations teams” had arrested 217 people during a three-week statewide sweep April 9-27. The raids were part of the agency’s so-called “Operation Return to Sender,” a national initiative targeting people who have failed to comply with prior deportation orders. Of the total arrested in New Jersey, only 75 had prior deportation orders; the rest were people who happened to be at the raided sites and whose undocumented status was discovered by agents. Only 37 of the 217 people arrested had criminal records. Those arrested came from Latin America and the Caribbean (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Trinidad and Uruguay); Africa (Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Nigeria); Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines and Saudi Arabia); and Europe (Poland, Portugal and Yugoslavia). Since May 26, 2006, ICE has arrested more than 1,585 people in New Jersey in “Return to Sender” sweeps; 253 of those arrested had criminal records. (ICE news release, May 1)
From Immigration News Briefs, May 19
See our last post on the immigration crackdown.