ICE agents made an arrest in Ithaca on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for the enforcement agency confirmed to The Sun. An ICE agent in Calexico, Calif. is pictured above.

Ann Johansson / The New York Times

ICE agents made an arrest in Ithaca on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for the enforcement agency confirmed to The Sun. An ICE agent in Calexico, Calif. is pictured above.

May 2, 2017

ICE Agents Arrest ‘Unlawfully Present Mexican National’ in Ithaca

Print More

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested a Mexican national in Ithaca on Tuesday, an ICE spokesman and a Cornell student who said she witnessed the arrest told The Sun.

ICE officers “arrested one unlawfully present Mexican national today in Ithaca, following a routine targeted enforcement action,” Khaalid Walls, regional director of Northeast communications for ICE, said in an email. “The action, in which that specific individual was sought, occurred without incident.”

The arrested person is currently detained at Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, “pending removal proceedings,” Walls said.

A Cornell student who lives in Ithaca and spoke to The Sun on condition of anonymity said she witnessed ICE officers arrest a man on Cascadilla Street near the corner of Fourth Street on Tuesday afternoon between 1 and 2 p.m.

The student said an unmarked vehicle with three men, at least one in an ICE vest, pulled up to the curb on Cascadilla Street on Ithaca’s Northside, after which two men exited the car and asked the adult man for his name before placing him under arrest.

“Two guys stepped out and asked, ‘Is your name José?’ to which he replied ‘Yes,’ and ICE agents in vests nabbed him,” the student said.

There was no struggle and the man was compliant with the officers, according to the witness, who said she was walking to class at the time. The ICE spokesman could not immediately confirm the witness’ details.

Nearly 200 people on Tuesday night indicated that they planned to attend an “emergency rally” to protest the ICE operation in Ithaca after The Sun first reported the arrest. The rally is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the Bernie Milton Pavilion in downtown Ithaca.

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 said Ithaca is still committed to maintaining its sanctuary city status, which stems from Common Council’s unanimous vote on a resolution in February.

“We’re still a sanctuary and we’re still committed to it,” Myrick said in a brief phone call. “We get no pleasure from seeing ICE operate inside our community, but being a federal agency, we can’t stop them.”

Ithaca passed the sanctuary city resolution in February, prohibiting city employees, including Ithaca Police, from inquiring about a person’s immigration status except in situations in which the question is deemed necessary, such as providing benefits that are contingent upon citizenship or when citizenship status is vital to a criminal investigation.

The resolution also requires IPD to notify an individual before responding to requests from ICE or Customs and Border Patrol to detain or interview that person. An Ithaca Police spokesman said he was not immediately aware of Tuesday’s arrest by ICE.

No city officials have been in contact with ICE, Myrick said, adding that he did not have any additional information.

Prof. Stephen Yale-Loehr ’77 J.D. ’81, immigration law, said Ithaca’s sanctuary city legislation does not in any way prevent ICE from making arrests inside the city’s limits.

“Being a sanctuary city simply means that the city won’t provide information to the federal government about people they suspect are deportable,” Yale-Loehr told The Sun. “Immigration enforcement agents may learn about a person’s immigration status and location through other means, such as information in government databases.  If so, they don’t need local officials to help them find and arrest the immigrant.”

Alderperson Ducson Nguyen, who represents the Second Ward where the arrest reportedly took place, said ICE’s presence in Ithaca “reaffirms the need for the actions the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County took in February to limit law enforcement and municipal employee interaction with that agency.”

“ICE isn’t welcome here, and I’d recommend they save their fuel and time driving all the way from Buffalo to harass our residents,” Nguyen added.

Yale-Loehr noted a recent Washington Post article showing that immigration arrests rose 32.6 percent in the first weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency when compared to the same period in 2016. Arrests of immigrants with no criminal records more than doubled during that period, according to statistics reported by The Post.

The student who said she witnessed the arrest said the man being arrested asked her to tell his boss what had happened before he was placed into the ICE vehicle.

“He turned over his shoulder and the last thing he said was, ‘Call my boss at Saigon Kitchen and tell them what happened,’” the student said.

A woman who answered the phone at the Vietnamese restaurant on West State Street said she was not aware of any arrest and that the eatery’s manager is out of town and would return on Wednesday.

  • Jeff

    Can’t wait for the shitstorm!

  • Donald J Trump

    Out out out!

  • Tom

    Mr. Mayor- Since you despise the federal government so much, please make a statement to the effect that Ithaca does not appreciate and will reject any federal financial assistance. And when an illegal alien murders or rapes an Ithaca resident, please make sure to send your sympathy card to the family.

    • definitely not Tom

      I’m pretty sure the large majority of the rapes on the Ithaca campus have been from rich, white and entitled frat bros, some probably named TOM.

      • Dr. Factcheck

        According to FBI crime stats, approx. 35,000 black on white rapes occur each year in America and ZERO white on black rapes.

        • Don’t seem like much of a doctor to me

          What does this have to do with undocumented immigrants?

        • Anna

          Wow. I would really like to see your source. Here is a REAL source, ” Black females experienced higher rates of rape or sexual assault in 2008 than white females or females of other races (2.9 compared to 1.2 and 0.9 per 1,000 females age 12 or older, respectively.): https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvv.pdf (U.S. Department of Justice)

      • casanova

        This date rape bullshit again? You can’t just regret having sex and then falsely accuse someone of rape and ruin his life!

      • Tom

        Sounds like you have a strong bias. Not very inclusive of you.

    • Tom

      Deplorable? Me? Why thank you. Thank you very much!

    • Don’t seem like a doctor to me

      So that we use verified facts, here, the FBI’s crime statistics show 17,370 rape charges filed in 2015. If you look at any of the reports that use this data, the reports come to the same conclusion: Overall, both legal and illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes than U.S. citizens (see reading list at end).

      For example, in the CATO Institute’s March report called Criminal Immigrants, Alex Nowrasteh and his co-author found that illegal immigrants are 44 percent less likely to be incarcerated than native born Americans and legal immigrants are 69 percent less likely.

      (They also found that when you subtract the number of illegal immigrants who are incarcerated for immigration offenses, both legal and illegal immigrants are 69 percent less likely to be incarcerated than native born Americans​.)

      To be unbiased, there is one single study by Jorg Spenkuch, an economic professor at Northwestern University, that has found higher rates of crime committed by immigrants (though it did not find a higher crime rate for illegal versus legal immigrants) – and even this study did not find a higher crime rate among immigrants for either rape or aggravated assault.

      Reading list:

      Criminal Immigrants: Their numbers, demographics and countries of origin

      Does Immigration Enforcement Reduce Crime? Evidence from Secure Communities

      Understanding the Impact of Immigration on Crime

      Why are Immigrants’ Incarceration Rates so Low?

      Evidence on Selective Immigration, Deterrence, and Deportation

      The immigration–crime relationship: Evidence across US metropolitan areas

      Immigration and the recent violent crime drop in the United States

      The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States

      • Jorge the legal immigrant

        I don’t care if immigrants statistically commit fewer crimes. Good for them. However, *illegal* immigrants committed a crime when they stepped across the border. In other words the crime rate among illegal aliens is 100%. Get ’em out!

    • José

      Tom doesn’t have a clue how “Sanctuary Status” works. Why so worried about people’s immigration status? So afraid.
      Do you closely follow all laws and make sure others arent’ breaking them? Texting while driving, speeding. People late with library books. No broken rules!

      • No Way Jose

        You’re not welcome here. Most decent people wouldn’t insist on staying where they are not wanted. Why are you a lingerer Jose? Go away!

      • Tom

        Jose- you are too stupid to merit a response.

  • Dr. Factcheck

    Like the Edgar Broughton Band song goes, “Out Demons Out!”

  • Free Milo

    Lmao Milo ended up being censored again, this time by Daily Sun.

  • MILO Will Return

    I said “please come more often officers!” and this got deleted? Daily Sun turns out to be blatantly anti-law enforcement!

    • No Way Jose

      The Cornell Daily Sun is like the team of photography experts employed by Stalin in the 1930s to airbrush victims of his purges from photographs

  • Tom c

    About time the federal government started doing there job.good job Stewart for your report.i have to follow the law so should every one else.

  • Bill G

    Looks like the student assembly and Ithaca city council have a lot in common– both pass resolutions that are just for show and actually don’t do anything

  • Stu Cozza

    When ICE or any other federal law enforcement agency arrives to effect an arrest, the local police do not need to be notified. They MAY be notified as a courtesy, but such is not required under the law.

    They came, they asked (“Two guys stepped out and asked, ‘Is your name José?’ to which he replied ‘Yes,’ and ICE agents in vests nabbed him,” the student said.), they arrested, and they left.

    Don’t blame the Chief of Police or the mayor… contact your U.S. Senators if you feel this arrest was (is) wrongful.

  • José

    get a life, Stew.

    • No Way Jose

      No way Jose: border jumper go home!

  • Are these comments really from Cornell University students
    and faculty?How sad. Apparently, the university does not
    teach compassion, nor are students and faculty quite so
    brilliant as we’d all assumed. More than sad, this is a frightening
    example of just how mean and cruel human beings can be.

    • No Way Jose

      So “brilliant” people would let foreigners overrun their country and destroy their culture? LOLZ GFTO

    • No Way Jose

      Being apprehended and repatriated is the least cruel thing that could happen to Jose

    • Will

      Your post is a good example of stupidity. A person who is in the country illegally gets arrested and you find that mean and cruel. Do you feel that all arrests are mean and cruel?

  • Pingback: Man Detained by ICE in Ithaca on Administrative Immigration Violations | Stephen Yale-Loehr, Immigration Law Expert()

  • Pingback: Hysteria at Cornell University Over False Rumor of ICE Visit - Daily Callout()

  • Pingback: Hysteria at Cornell University Over False Rumor of ICE Visit – Liberty REDUX()