City Council members lead call against ICE using so-called misleading tactics
New York City's committee on immigration held a hearing Friday where it denounced tactics used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and demanded accountability after an ICE-involved shooting earlier this month.
The group, led by Councilman Carlos Menchaca, called for the abolishment of ICE in New York City on the steps of City Hall.
"ICE is using ruses to access our New Yorkers, claiming to represent NYPD precincts or as detectives, and apprehending entire families," says Menchaca.
Carmen Cruz was among those who told stories of loved ones taken into custody by ICE. Her son Erick Diaz was shot in the face on Feb. 6 when he tried to intervene when agents tried to arrest Cruz's boyfriend.
"It was very painful for me. A day that broke my heart and that has left my house and my home and my family marked forever," said Cruz, through a translator.
In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security says its agents, "Do not purport themselves as officers of the NYPD or any other law enforcement agency."
But deceptive tactics are not the only concern -- Menchaca also called into question the safety in spaces like hospitals.
After the shooting early this month, ICE agents apparently followed the two men to a hospital, not allowing Cruz to see her boyfriend or son.
Councilmember Carlina Rivera says the presence of ICE in the hospital is unacceptable and concerning.
"This is an outrage, hospitals are havens of safety and healing," says Rivera. "Every single New Yorker, regardless of immigration status, race language, address or income deserves the right to feel safe."
Menchaca and Rivera are hoping a law will pass prohibiting ICE agents from identifying themselves as police or keeping agents out of hospitals so that immigrants aren't afraid to seek health care.