NY governor Cuomo issues cease-and-desist letter to ICE

NY governor Cuomo issues cease-and-desist letter to ICE
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday issued a cease-and-desist letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), saying the agency uses “aggressive tactics” to make illegal arrests.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Cuomo accused the agency of storming private properties without warning, without identifying themselves and without a warrant to make any arrests.

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Cuomo, during a press conference, cited possibly illegal arrests at a dairy farm and private residence. He also noted an outspoken immigration activist that was also taken into custody.

If the agents keep making arrests in this manner, Cuomo warned that “the state will sue them, period.”

Cuomo also signed an executive order mandating that ICE agents present valid judicial warrants to make arrests inside state government buildings.

It’s unclear what the legal status is for a cease-and-desist letter from a governor to a federal agency, The Post reported.

ICE said this week that 225 suspected undocumented immigrants  — 180 of whom had criminal convictions or pending charges — were taken into custody this week during a raid in New York City.

Since September 2016, ICE has arrested nearly 5,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions, Deputy Director Thomas Homan said in a statement Wednesday.

Homan ripped Cuomo’s letter as “inaccurate.”

“The Governor's comments were inaccurate and an insult to ICE's sworn law enforcement officers who conduct their lawful mission professionally and with integrity,” Homan said. 

ICE “cannot and will not cease and desist” from fulfilling the agency’s congressionally mandated mission, he said.

Cuomo blamed the “alarming increase in the rate of arrests” and the “harshness in [agents’] behavior” on President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE’s rhetoric on immigration, the Post reported.

“I believe ICE has been politicized, if not directly then indirectly in that their aggressive tactics, aggressive behavior — unconstitutional, illegal behavior — is being fueled by the political rhetoric of the administration,” Cuomo said.

He added that he will hold off on pursuing legal action until he sees how ICE responds.