Last Wednesday, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 32-year old Mexican national and Ithaca resident Jose L. Guzman. The event was confirmed and only widely spread once reporters investigated the swift and shocking arrest, a bleak reminder that federal agencies are operating faster than ever under the auspices of the current administration. ICE has become more active over the past few months, increasing their arrests by a staggering 32.6 percent only a few weeks after Trump assumed the presidency. Under the Obama administration, federal agents were directed to focus on serious criminals — now, empowered by the new administration, ICE is increasingly merciless in its efforts to deport undocumented immigrants, even those with no criminal record. “Before, we used to be told, ‘You can’t arrest those people,’ and we’d be disciplined for being insubordinate if we did…Now those people are priorities again,” a 10-year veteran of the ICE agency admitted to The New York Times.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested “one unlawfully present Mexican national” in Ithaca on Tuesday, an ICE spokesman and a Cornell student who said she witnessed the arrest told The Sun.
The recent arrests of three local men associated with a cocaine-trafficking ring will make a “significant dent” on the drug trade in Tompkins County, District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson told The Ithaca Journal last Tuesday. Curtis Echols of Rochester, said to be the ring’s leader, along with his sons, Curtis McCool and Darrell L. Bailey, have been charged on about 30 counts of drug trafficking.
According to The Journal, Echols allegedly distributed cocaine to both Bailey and McCool, in addition to Kelly Keefe, an Ithaca resident who was arrested on charges of alleged ties to a cocaine ring two weeks ago.