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ICE raid targets Casa Latina restaurant

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    Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sitting in an unmarked van outside Casa Latina waiting to detain undocumented people. Melanie Lekocevic/Columbia-Greene Media
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    Members of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, their allies and local officials outside Casa Latina, a restaurant on Green Street, Hudson, where Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials waited Tuesday afternoon to detain undocumented people. Melanie Lekocevic/Columbia-Greene Media
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    An unmarked white van with immigration officials waits outside the restaurant Casa Latina on Greene Street in Hudson. Melanie Lekocevic/Columbia-Greene Media
August 14, 2019 11:42 am Updated: August 14, 2019 11:43 am

HUDSON — Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday afternoon conducted a raid at Casa Latina, a restaurant on Green Street in Hudson.

In response, the call went out to members and allies of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, a group that supports undocumented people in Hudson, which was officially classified as a Welcoming and Inclusive City in a 2017 Common Council resolution.

About a dozen supporters turned out Tuesday to warn people about the presence of ICE officials and document their activities.

Jarin Ahmed, a member of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, said ICE officials made one arrest by the time she arrived on the scene around noon.

“They have taken one community member, they have chased a couple of community members down the street. They are targeting people that are coming to this specific restaurant, Casa Latina, and you can only imagine why they are targeting a place named Casa Latina,” Ahmed said.

Khaalid Walls, Northeast regional communications director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed the agency had taken action in Hudson on Tuesday, but would not say whether anyone had been arrested or detained.

“We can confirm an enforcement action,” Walls said. “Because enforcement activities are currently underway, no additional information is available at this time.”

Second Ward Alderwoman Tiffany Garriga, along with others, sat outside the restaurant while an unmarked white van, with ICE officers seated inside, idled outside the restaurant.

“We are in support of my people, the people of this city — treat them like human beings,” Garriga said. “We are a Welcoming and Inclusive City, and we are here to stand with the people.”

Ahmed said supporters of the group Columbia County Sanctuary Movement sent out word through text and Facebook that a raid was taking place outside the restaurant.

Mayor Rick Rector was in the restaurant’s parking lot “monitoring” the situation, he said.

“I am here in support of the city of Hudson’s law that was put in place, making sure the city is behaving and the city is doing what we committed to,” Rector said.

He added he did not know if the Hudson police had been notified of the presence of ICE officials.

“That has been the ongoing conversation,” Rector said. “The police are often not advised, or sometimes they are advised by ICE when they are in town.”

Lt. David Miller of the Hudson Police Department later confirmed the police were not notified by ICE that immigration officials were coming into the city.

As a Welcoming and Inclusive City, under the 2017 resolution, there are restrictions on what local police can do with regard to immigration status.

Hudson police cannot question, arrest or detain an individual based solely on an actual or suspected immigration or citizenship status, according to the Welcoming and Inclusive City resolution. Police also cannot inquire about an individual’s immigration status if they are a witness, crime victim or a person approaching the police for assistance, according to the resolution.

Hudson Common Council President Thomas DiPietro was outside Casa Latina during ICE’s presence Tuesday and called the action “intimidation.”

“I am here as a member of the Common Council. It seems to me like a form of intimidation,” DiPietro said. “They are parked outside here and looking around. Who is to know what they are up to?”

Reporter Amanda Purcell contributed to this report.

Comments
We who believe in laws need a way to know this is going on so we can rally and support our laws.