Immigrations agents raided a farm in upstate New York without displaying a warrant, detaining a worker there while his kids watched, a farmer alleges.
At least seven Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials detained Marcial DeLeon-Aguilar on Wednesday at a milk farm in Rome, New York, Syracuse.com reported. John Collins, Aguilar’s boss, said ICE agents did not present a warrant when they showed up, and threatened to arrest him when he tried taking a video of the incident. Two of Aguilar’s children, who were waiting for a school bus to arrive, watched as their father was detained, according to WKTV 2.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote in a tweet that an investigation should be launched into Aguilar’s arrest.
“Deeply troubled by this report from Rome, NY. ICE officers should not be allowed to raid private property without a warrant,” Gillibrand said.
Collins said he heard a commotion inside his milk house Wednesday morning, and ran inside, where he found Aguilar pinned against a window by armed agents.
“Why are you arresting him? What's going on?” Collins told WKTV 2. “They said he had three offenses against him. I know Marcial, I knew it was a bullshit story.”
When he tried recording the detention with his phone, an officer allegedly tossed his phone into the road and put him in handcuffs, threatening to arrest him for interfering with an investigation. The agents removed the handcuffs before taking Aguilar away.
No one ever presented a warrant to Collins, the farmer said.
According to ICE, Aguilar is an undocumented immigrant who's been removed from the U.S. three times. “He has criminal convictions for reckless aggravated assault and illegal re-entry and is currently in ICE custody,” ICE said in a statement. The agency did not say whether ICE officers presented a warrant during the raid.
Collins told local outlets that Aguilar had the proper documentation to work for him and paid his taxes. Aguilar’s wife, Virginia Morales, is an undocumented immigrant who fled to the U.S. to escape violence in Guatemala, Collins said. Morales, who is pregnant with the couple's fifth child, has been meeting with ICE agents since she arrived, Collins said.
“Who's going to help support me and my children if my husband's not here?” Morales told WKTV 2. “We came here for a better future for our children. There's nothing really back at Guatemala for us.”