New York City recently had a visit from a task force of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, during which more than 200 illegal aliens were rounded up. Many were active gang members or individuals with felony records, so one might assume that the state government would be pleased to have fewer criminals on the streets. One would be wrong, however. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is fighting off a 2018 primary challenge from his left flank, responded by threatening to sue ICE for their “aggressive tactics.” (NPR)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to sue federal immigration authorities over their aggressive tactics. Cuomo sent a cease and desist letter Wednesday to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
“We believe ICE is violating the law,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “We’re going to put them on notice today, if they continue, the state will sue them. Period.”
In response, ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan accused Cuomo of “grandstanding,” and called his comments “inaccurate and an insult to ICE’s sworn law enforcement officers.”
Cuomo’s threat follows an ICE operation that netted more than 200 arrests across New York City and surrounding counties — and one raid at a dairy farm near Rome, N.Y., that’s drawing particular scrutiny.
Here’s the video of the presser where Cuomo makes his far left election pitch… sorry. I mean “policy announcement.” Fast forward to the one minute mark for Cuomo’s initial remarks.
As noted in the presser, not all of the ICE arrests were made in the Big Apple. One illegal alien was taken into custody while working on a farm well upstate, outside the city of Rome. The complaints about that one are making for some great liberal PR as the farm owner is going to bat for his illegal worker. The farmer is telling the story of how the ICE agents “stormed onto his property” and arrested the Guatemalan illegal alien who was working for him without presenting a warrant.
Two important points are raised by this complaint. First of all, the ICE agents weren’t “acting outside the law” as Cuomo claims. It’s been well established that immigration enforcement doesn’t require a warrant to detain a known illegal alien with prior felony convictions. The worker in question has felonies on his rap sheet.
But that’s not the only awkward part of this media blitz. It seems that the farmer knew that the worker was in the country illegally. So the farmer is actually guilty of an even more serious crime. Perhaps rather than talking to reporters, he should be speaking to a lawyer himself.
The lawsuit being threatened by Cuomo sounds entirely frivolous but that’s really not what this story is about. As I mentioned above, the Governor is trying to find a way to position himself to the left of Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon who is currently challenging him in the primary. Cuomo has a substantial lead in the polls, but his base is looking rather weak at the moment. Threatening to sue ICE is probably the sort of move he sees as helping shore up his support.
But that’s not going to stop the ICE raids. The only way to accomplish that goal would be to get off of this sanctuary city/state kick and get back to actually upholding the oath he took. Maybe after the election if we’re lucky.