New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ratcheting up efforts to block immigration enforcement amid growing campaign pressure from a further-left primary rival, Cynthia Nixon.
Cuomo staged a Wednesday, April 25, press conference where he announced he was sending a cease-and-desist letter to the Department of Homeland Security following the detention of an illegal-immigrant farmworker in Rome, N.Y., by DHS enforcement agents.
“If they continue, the state will sue them, period … As governor, my job is to protect New Yorkers,” Cuomo said, adding that the state is also providing $10 million to fund lawyers for illegal immigrants. “We are going to put ICE on notice … [for] violation of the rights of undocumented people.”
Cuomo also announced that he would bar U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from entering state buildings — such as courthouses — if they are not carrying warrants from state judges.
“ICE going onto the farm without a valid warrant violated constitutional rights,” Cuomo said in front of displays declaring “New York Stands With Immigrants.”
“This is about politics. We have a president who in the campaign, campaigned on an anti-immigrant agenda … that has been his agenda as President,” Cuomo said. “I believe ICE has been politicized … it is frightening, and it has to stop,” he said.
Cuomo, however, also hinted at the economic importance of cheap labor to the state’s economy. “We embrace immigration; we embrace diversity, we think it makes us stronger, we think it is an asset to the economy … that is what we believe.”
“All Americans are immigrants,” he claimed. “That is who you are and how you got here,” he claimed.
Cuomo’s primary is slated for September, and his initial lead over Nixon is narrowing.
New York’s City’s economy is deeply dependent on roughly 500,000 illegals to provide cheap blue-collar services to businesses and upper-income residents, such as immigration lawyers. But the large population of illegals in the state does cut wages for ordinary American voters, such as restaurant workers.
After Cuomo’s press conference DHS officials quickly slammed Cuomo’s claims, while media sites revealed details about the arrested farmworker and explained ICE’s arrest warrant.
Cuomo’s April 25 “Governor Cuomo’s disregard for the rule of law is a slap in the face to the hardworking men and women of ICE,” said DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton.
Cuomo’s statements are “inaccurate and an insult,” said Thomas Homan, director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. “As a native New Yorker who began my law enforcement career as a police officer in the state, I was disappointed to learn about the governor’s grandstanding today over the issue of immigration enforcement,” he added.
DHS officials also said enforcement officers had a warrant when they arrested the farmworker. According to the Utica Observer-Despatch, the DHS said;
With respect to judicial warrants, federal immigration law clearly provides for the arrest of removable aliens based on administrative arrest warrants issued by authorized immigration officers. Federal regulations specify which immigration officers have this authority.
The early April 18 reports in Syracuse.com described the farmworker as legally in the country, but did not explain his legal status:
Rome, N.Y. — John Collins was standing outside the milk house at his dairy farm this morning when he heard yelling coming from inside. He ran in, he says, and saw his worker, Marcial de Leon Aguilar, pinned up against the window by armed men.
The men did not identify themselves and were screaming at Aguilar, Collins said.
“I run and say, ‘What the hell is going on in here?’” Collins said …
Collins said Aguilar had proper documentation to work for him. And he’s been paying taxes since working for Collins.
But the farmworker, and his pregnant wife and their four children, were in the country illegally, the Utica Observer-Despatch reported;
Marcial DeLeon-Aguilar, 31, was charged last week with a felony immigration offense, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
He is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States following three previous removals. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and possible deportation if found guilty, according to prosecutors.
The farmer likely paid his illegal farmworker a modest wage — but the farmworker was also being rewarded by getting his children placed in a nearby public school attended by local kids and funded by taxpayers.
At Cuomo’s press conference, the farmer explained the business case for employing the illegal immigrant.
“This man is an incredibly hard worker and plays an important role on our farm,” Collins said. “We cannot allow these legal raids to continue … too many businesses are being put at risk because of ICE’s reckless and unnecessary raids.”
Many U.S. dairy farms rely on cheap imported labor do the tough, dirty and low-status work of feeding, milking and cleaning cows, 365 days a year.
In contrast, higher mandatory wages in Europe and Canada have pressured farmers to buy robotic machinery which allows the dairy work to be done efficiently and mostly within normal working hours.
However, few American dairy farms can buy the Iowa-made milking robots because massive milk-production has cut the price of milk and their revenue. The low prices also pressure U.S. farmers to cut their labor costs by hiring and hiding cheap illegals — ensuring a growing number of arrests at dairy farms.
DHS officials said the farmworker’s arrest was part of a broader enforcement effort in the state:
In New York, as a part of Operation Matador, which is focused on dangerous gang members and associates, ICE has arrested 484 individuals since the operation’s inception. In recent weeks, ICE also completed a targeted enforcement operation which took a number of criminal aliens off the streets – including those with prior felony convictions for child sex crimes, weapons charges and assault. DHS will continue to enforce immigration laws as set forth by Congress.
Of those arrested, more than 180 were convicted criminals or had criminal charges pending, more than 80 had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed from the United States and returned illegally. Several had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.
The statement also noted that 60 of the illegals had earlier been released by city police forces without any alert to immigration officials:
More than 60 individuals arrested during this operation were previously released from local law enforcement on an active detainer. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) places detainers on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are suspected of being deportable …
In years past, most of these individuals would have been turned over to ICE by local authorities upon their release from jail based on ICE detainers. Now that many sanctuary cities, including New York City, do not honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat.
But the clash between ICE and the employers of illegal immigrants is creating opportunities for Cuomo and his allied political activists.
“Today’s topic is the alarming increase in the rate of arrests and actions by the … so-called ICE and the manner in which they are performing these arrests,” Cuomo claimed. Those actions are violating the rights of Americans and of “undocumented” migrants and will endanger public safety, he claimed. “It is major problem in the farms in New York,” Cuomo said while seated alongside displays declaring “New York Stands With Immigrants.”
“We have to protect everyone,” said one of Cuomo’s guests, Alina Das, a pro-migration lawyer at New York University.
Every year, 4 million Americans turn 18 and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.
But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting roughly 1.1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.
The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.
Polls show most Americans support Trump’s view of America as a nation of Americans, wrapped in a network of mutual obligations.
Immigration polls which ask people to pick a priority, or to decide which options are fair, show that voters in the polling booth put a high priority on helping their families and fellow nationals get decent jobs in a high-tech, high-immigration, low-wage economy. Those results are very different from the “Nation of Immigrants” polls which are funded by CEOs and progressives, and which pressure Americans to say they welcome migrants.