Explaining how, why an undocumented immigrant was arrested by ICE in Ithaca
ITHACA, N.Y. -- The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took an undocumented Mexican immigrant into custody Tuesday morning in Ithaca and scores of people in the community who considered the city a "sanctuary" are asking the same question: “How did this happen here?”
Jose Lopez Guzman, 32, was taken into custody by multiple ICE agents around 11:30 a.m. on Cascadilla Street. He does not have family members in Ithaca.
ICE said in a brief statement Tuesday night that the arrest happened “following a routine targeted enforcement action.”
In Guzman’s case, it’s unclear whether a criminal charge dating back to 2013 played a role in his arrest Tuesday.
According to court records, Guzman was charged with second-degree assault after an incident that allegedly occurred Oct. 31, 2013.
In February, Ithaca Common Council voted to add some teeth to the city’s Sanctuary City status, which had been in place since 1985.
Legislator Anna Kelles, who worked on the resolution to make Tompkins County a sanctuary county in February, said that despite the designations, it would be against the law to prevent ICE from coming to Ithaca or Tompkins County, something that has been a public misconception.
CNN reported on March 25, however, that the sanctuary city status of more than 200 cities nationally is linked to increased enforcement operations in those areas.
The news organization credited a senior US immigration official with direct knowledge of ongoing ICE actions with informing them that, “High-ranking ICE officials have discussed in internal meetings carrying out more raids on those locations…”
Multiple local police officers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that in at least the past 10 years of working at IPD, none of them could recall an instance where a person was taken into custody by ICE.MAY 3, 2017
BY JOLENE ALMENDAREZ