Thursday, May 18, 2017

CCSM, ICE, and Hudson

Late on Tuesday, Gossips received a press release from the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement announcing a new initiative:
Today, Columbia County Sanctuary Movement (CCSM) launched a campaign to keep families together and prevent further detentions in Hudson, NY. The three demands of the campaign are Enforce, Investigate and Endorse. CCSM is calling on the Mayor and Police Commissioner to enforce their February 20th executive order, to launch a formal investigation into the Hudson Police Department's (HPD) collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and to endorse a new executive order codifying the Resolution Affirming Hudson as a Welcoming and Inclusive City.
The campaign comes after another detention in court in late April and a late night house raid on Friday in which six people were detained. Approximately 20 people have been detained in Columbia County in the last three months, over a dozen of which were in Hudson. A third of the Hudson detentions involved ICE taking people from court prior to being convicted of a crime and in some cases HPD collaborated with ICE to do so. . . . 
At the heart of the new campaign is the detention of Jose D. Contreras-Flores on April 20. Contreras-Flores was arrested by ICE agents in City Court at 8 a.m., and, according to HPD Chief Ed Moore, as reported in the Register-Star, "we detained the guy in our holding cell until they [ICE] arranged the transportation." 

The February 20 order from the police commissioner and the mayor states: ". . . no resources, facilities, or property of the City of Hudson that are ordinarily or generally in the use or control of the City of Hudson Police Department . . . shall be made available for use by agents, officers, or employees of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") except as may be required by law. . . . In the event any resources, facilities, or property of the City of Hudson are used or provided for the use of ICE or any of its agents, officers, or employees, written notification of such use shall be provided by the person authorizing, permitting, or allowing such use or provision to the Office of the Mayor, the Police Commissioner, and the Common Council. . . ." Moore told the Register-Star that Contreras-Flores had been detained "on a U.S. warrant, signed by a federal magistrate"--a situation that seems to meet the burden of "except as required by law." As required by the executive order, Moore "dutifully made a report that federal agents had made an arrest in Hudson and were using police resources." The report was submitted to the mayor, the police commissioner, and the Common Council president.

The Columbia County Sanctuary Movement has questioned the existence of a federal warrant. In a comment on Gossips, CCSM executive director Bryan MacCormack wrote:
The Chief of Police was quoted saying there was a judicial warrant. If anyone can provide that warrant to back his claim I implore you to so here, because to date it has not been presented in any legal proceedings or information requests. Only a criminal complaint.
Tuesday's press release indicates that CCSM has submitted FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests "regarding HPD's collaboration with ICE and expects to receive access to relevant information by the end of the week."


  1. A good part of the reason why ICE is so active in these parts is, I believe, directly traceable to the highly publicized, and deeply flawed, executive order from February 20 which the executive branch promulgated without any consultation with or input from HPD but with maximum fanfare.

    The call for some sort of investigation of the HPD's actions in this regard are unwarranted (no pun intended). There is nothing but the CCSM's bald statement that there's been a breach of the February 20th order. No evidence is stated or detailed, no argument is put forward, nothing but an unsupported, unsubstantiated and thus irresponsible statement. The call for such an investigation simultaneously burdens the HPD's reputation and sully's that of the CCSM. Note: with the exception of FISA warrants, federal warrants are public documents. The burden isn't on anyone but the party that wants to see the warrant to seek it.

    Lest there be any confusion about where I stand on these issues, I voted for Hudson's sanctuary resolution in the City Council and stand by my vote. I'm also one of the pro bono attorneys for some of the those who have been detained by ICE and needlessly suffer due to the current federal administration's desire to deport as many as possible.

    Supporting the undocumented and fighting against federal overreach are laudable and important goals. For this, the CCSM deserves praise. But nothing about achieving either of those ends requires or supports that organization’s call for an investigation of our local police when there is no evidence of, or even the whiff of some, breach of professional standards or rules. Standing with the threatened among us doesn’t require that we take a hostile approach to local law enforcement. The CCSM should retract its call for an investigation of the HPD at its earliest opportunity unless it has something to substantiate the need for such a divisive action.

    The foregoing is my professional and public statement on this matter. Here's my personal statement: you're accusing the Chief of Police of lying. I think I know Chief Moore fairly well and I say, without any hesitation or reservation: I cannot conceive of a situation in which Ed Moore would lie and that goes double when he's in his public role. To call in to question the reputation and integrity of a life-long public servant who has achieved among the highest honors his profession provides on nothing more than bald innuendo is intolerable, and to all those who know the Chief this call for an investigation says more about the immaturity of the CCSM as an advocacy organization than they do about the integrity of Mr. Moore.

    1. Right so JF - well said.

      (Man bites Dog, your statement is also highly accurate!)

  2. Well said Friedman. CCSM just a bunch of Wankers !

    1. I wouldn't say they're wankers -- I don't know who comprises this organization. But my sense is they are using language rather loosely and, in the process, not doing themselves, those they seek to assist or their cause much good and perhaps some harm.