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Woman detained by ICE released on bond

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Members and allies of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement begin to gather outside Casa Latina during an “enforcement action” by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday. A woman who was detained Tuesday was released on bond 24 hours later.
August 15, 2019 05:24 pm

Columbia-Greene Media

HUDSON — A woman detained by immigration officers on Green Street on Tuesday has been released on bond.

Bryan MacCormack, executive director of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, said his group helped the woman’s family post a $5,000 bond to secure her release.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were posted outside the Casa Latina restaurant in Hudson around noon Tuesday when the woman was arrested.

The stakeout was confirmed by Khaalid Walls, Northeast regional communications director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on Tuesday.

“We can confirm an enforcement action,” Walls said at the time.

He would release no further information.

The Columbia County Sanctuary Movement sent out word to its members and allies that ICE was in the neighborhood, and the group began to gather outside the restaurant to monitor the situation and document ICE officers’ activities.

Jarin Ahmed, a member of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, said her group has established a system that sends out alerts when ICE is in the area so members and allies can go to the scene to assist immigrants in need.

“Our ability to organize and mobilize so quickly has had a lot of effect on how community members are helped and how we can assist them better,” Ahmed said. “The fact that our organization exists allows us to send out alerts to community members and contact legal aid. It allows us to be diligent and efficient with the work we do.”

MacCormack said Thursday he believed Casa Latina and other restaurants are being targeted.

“The administration wants ICE to conduct more workplace raids,” MacCormack said. “We had multiple reports of ICE being outside a restaurant and they were credible reports from people involved in our organization. They [ICE] were circling around the block and continuing to come back to the same restaurant. I think they were monitoring Casa Latina specifically.”

The woman detained Tuesday, whose name has not been released, is not a local resident and was visiting Hudson from out of the area, MacCormack confirmed.

“I believe ICE is racially profiling people. The individual who was taken is from out of state. She was here for work,” MacCormack said. “She was walking down the street in front of Casa Latina when she was arrested. They saw a brown woman and they arrested her and took her.”

MacCormack said he did not know if the officers asked the woman for identification. He said he was told by others from his organization that she was walking down the street with several other people who were also chased by officers, but were able to escape.

Members of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement worked with the woman’s family to post her bond after she was taken to ICE’s Albany field office in Latham for processing, MacCormack said.

After that she was transported to the Rensselaer County Jail, where ICE detainees are held in the Capital Region. She remained in jail overnight before she was released on bond Wednesday, he said.

Posting bond — which needs to be paid in full and at that point is determined by ICE officers, not a judge — can pose a challenge for many immigrants detained by ICE, MacCormack said.

“She had a $5,000 bond, and in recent raids in Columbia and Greene counties, we have seen them go as high as $24,000 bond for someone who didn’t have a criminal record and just overstayed their visa,” MacCormack said. “If you can’t post bond or you are ineligible to post bond, you are sent to Batavia, New York, to a federal immigration detention center. Usually people go between three weeks to two months before they get a bond hearing. At that point, the judge can decide whether or not the person is eligible for bond.”