An upstate New York farmer says that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided his home without a warrant and handcuffed him for interfering in the arrest of one of his farm hands.
John Collins said he was outside on his dairy farm Wednesday morning when he heard shouts from inside his home, where he found his worker Marcial de Leon Aguilar pinned against the window by armed ICE agents, Syracuse.com reports.
Collins said he repeatedly asked the immigration law enforcement officials to show their paperwork or a warrant, but they showed him none and remained on the property despite Collins's demands that they leave.
Collins says the agents came onto the farm without giving any notice and without a warrant that is needed in order to search private property. A spokesman for ICE told Syracuse.com that he is looking into the incident.
The farmer continued to ask the seven ICE agents for paperwork as they handcuffed Aguilar and took him to their vehicles, all while the worker's wife, Virginia, and four children looked on.
"I told them you can't come in here without a warrant," said Collins. "They can't take someone and throw them up against the wall because of the color of their skin."
While Aguilar has been working legally for Collins for months and paying taxes, his wife and children crossed the southern U.S. border illegally seeking asylum from Guatemala. But, Collins says she has been in frequent talks with ICE about her situation.
When Collins tried to capture a video of the raid on his phone, he says an ICE agent smashed it on the road and handcuffed him, warning him of interfering in a federal investigation.
The officers never provided any warrant or official paperwork to Collins, he said.
The incident comes as ICE is doubling down on immigration-related arrests as part of the Trump administration's efforts to secure the border and prevent criminals from entering the country.
Earlier this month, the president ordered National Guard troops to the border, as illegal border crossings have slowly ticked up in recent months after a record low earlier in his presidency.