ALBANY – The lights flashed pink and blue behind him as Daniel Hernandez drove dwelling by truck from a automotive storage.

A Catskill police officer arrested Hernandez in February 2020, allegedly for having a loud exhaust, based on the immigrant advocacy group Columbia County Sanctuary Motion. Police questions on his automotive became questions on his immigration standing, and when the officer suspected Hernandez of being undocumented, he took him to the station handcuffed, holding him up. what US immigration and customs officers arrive to detain him.

Immediately, Hernandez is in deportation proceedings.

It’s not an uncommon occasion. Site visitors stops within the capital area have typically resulted in native police calling the ICE, and in lots of circumstances the undocumented particular person is in the end deported. However some New York state lawmakers need to finish the apply of native police working with ICE.

In late January, state lawmakers launched laws that might bar native regulation enforcement businesses from collaborating with regulation enforcement on immigration issues. This contains sharing delicate info with ICE or US Customs and Border Safety; implement civil immigration regulation themselves; enter into 287 (g) agreements with the ICE; ask an individual about their immigration standing, nation of origin or nationality; permitting ICE or CBP to entry public services with no judicial warrant, and extra.

“ICE has relied on the collusion of state and native regulation enforcement businesses to terrorize our hard-working immigrant communities of shade,” Meeting Member Karines Reyes, D-Bronx, mentioned in an announcement. press saying the invoice. “We can’t proceed to permit ICE to make use of our native assets to wrongly direct folks into custody, separate households and deport fellow New Yorkers. We should cross the New York for All Act to maintain this predatory federal company out of our overexploited and racially profiled communities of shade. ”

For some regulation enforcement businesses within the Capital Area, this regulation, if handed, would end in main modifications in day-to-day operations. For others, it could make little or no distinction.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, for instance, ended his division’s relationship with ICE in 2019 after holding greater than 300 inmates in his jail the earlier summer season. Apple’s relationship with ICE additionally turned controversial, he mentioned, when greater than 90 p.c of immigrants handed their interviews out of credible worry after permitting them entry to authorized providers.

“A, I did not like the way in which they handled folks. B, I assumed they purchased into the entire thing to do away with the immigrants, they locked folks up, separated households, and every part, ”Apple mentioned of ICE. “There are particular conditions which are out of hand.”

Apple particularly referred to the case of Kinimo Ngoran, a head of the Capital Metropolis Rescue Mission in Albany who was arrested and deported by ICE following a routine recording. The native of Côte d’Ivoire known as Apple after his arrest, and rising strain from the neighborhood and elected officers led to his closing launch.

“It is essentially the most inhumane factor I’ve ever seen from a federal company,” Apple mentioned. “… I additionally assume that ICE made their mattress and that they’ve a variety of cleansing to do to search out good graces once more. I do know on this space, I actually don’t desire something to do with them.”


Apple mentioned his division has had a coverage in place because it stopped holding inmates for the ICE that prohibits officers from cooperating with the ICE, however has left the door open to re-engage the ICE’s there was as soon as “ a brand new administration with higher insurance policies in place and so they deal with folks humanely.

With growing strain from immigrant advocacy teams and state authorized teams following Hernandez’s arrest, Catskill Police lastly issued an inside coverage in April 2020 that might prohibit officers from delaying the discharge of people ” to be able to coordinate the switch of custody to the ICE based mostly solely on the person’s immigration standing, ”based on paperwork obtained by the Occasions Union.

Extra just lately, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Workplace carried out a coverage in February with related restrictions on cooperation with the ICE “besides the place legally required.”

Neither company publicly introduced the coverage modifications. Catskill Police and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Workplace didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark.

The Capital Area regulation enforcement company that might seemingly be most affected by the New York for All Act is the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Workplace, which utilized for the 287 (g) program with the ICE in 2017. Rensselaer County is the one New York County to take part. in this system.

The settlement enters the company into a proper partnership with ICE, permitting the county to implement federal regulation on the native degree. However advocates say it harms native assets and the security of immigrant households.

“What it does is scare members of the immigrant neighborhood into hiding and never calling regulation enforcement after they need assistance,” mentioned Melanie Trimble, director of the New York Civil Liberties Union’s capital area.

Passing the brand new Everybody Act would require the termination of Rensselaer Sheriff Patrick Russo’s 287 (g) settlement with ICE. Russo didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark.

“That is the tidal wave that the neighborhood group has created, and Rensselaer County is the outlier,” mentioned Bryan MacCormack, government director of the Columbia County Sanctuary Motion. “The one technique to discover a systemic answer to this downside is to cross a regulation, which might be the New York for All Act.”

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