Mayor: ICE deserves a cold shoulder

February 23, 2017 02:54 PM

HUDSON - The population of Hudson, New York is diverse. The people who are seen daily strolling up and down Warren Street are tourists, business owners, and residents. Many of them are undocumented immigrants, the city's mayor acknowledges, but everyone of them she says is welcome.

"We certainly have friends and neighbors that are undocumented who have been wonderful contributing members of the community for a long time," says Tiffany Martin Hamilton, a democrat, serving her first term in office.

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Martin Hamilton says federal immigration agents have become overly aggressive in recent weeks, and because of it she says there's a sense of fear and panic throughout the community, especially after agents detained three individuals who were "merely charged with crimes."

"The fact is this is really trampling on their constitutional rights," the mayor asserts.

And so the mayor has issued an order directing Hudson police officers not to assist federal agents pursuing immigrants. Telephones, fax machines, and interrogation rooms at HPD headquarters the mayor has deemed off limits.

Legal scholars have argued that current immigration laws are vaguely worded and give little instruction to either local police or federal agents.

Sarah Rogerson is an immigration professor at Albany Law School who says the sweeping discretion that allows immigration officers to pick up non-citizens whose only infraction is an immigration law violation, concerns her.

"It's possible, and it has happened in the past, that US citizens and long time residents of this country could be picked up in those types of operations if they can't provided proof of their residency here," Rogerson says.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman weighed-in on the issue on Wednesday, affirming that state and local law enforcement cannot be forced to participate in what he labels "President Trump's destructive and ill-advised deportation policies."

On Thursday, one day after the mayor issued her order, Hudson police officers, members of Local 3979, through their governing Union Council 82, requested that the Police Commissioner and mayor rescind their order and allow all law enforcement officers to provided "the safety and security that the citizens of the City of Hudson expect."

The union labeled the mayor's action "a political statement" on the recent executive orders issued by President Trump.

"By issuing the (mayor's) order", the union statement continued, the mayor is "limiting the ability of duly sworn law enforcement officers from doing their job and enforcing the laws they are sworn to uphold."

The police union statement concludes, "Law enforcement shouldn't be limited or modified by two individuals who have no experience in enforcing laws and keeping the community safe."


Dan Levy

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