Friday, March 8, 2019

ICE in Hudson

On Tuesday morning, this alert appeared on the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement Facebook page:

What happened on Tuesday was reported yesterday by Amanda Purcell on HudsonValley360: "Citizens thwart ICE arrest." This morning, Columbia County Sanctuary Movement issued this press release.

US Citizen Prevents ICE Detention and 
Sparks Renewed Calls for Police Accountability
On Tuesday, March 5, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attempted to detain two community members in Hudson, NY, and failed because of know your rights education.
CCSM Executive Director Bryan MacCormack was accompanying two community members to Hudson City Court. After leaving court for their attorney's office, ICE followed and pulled over MacCormack's vehicle with the community members inside.
Three ICE deportation officers surrounded the vehicle. One deportation officer approached the driver's side window and asked MacCormack for his license, which he provided. Officer also asked the community members for identification. They knew their rights, remained silent and didn't provide information. One community member began recording the incident with his cell phone. The officers then produced a Department of Homeland Security document entitled, Warrant of Arrest of Alien. MacCormack insisted the document was not a court ordered warrant signed by a judge, also known as a Judicial Warrant, and refused to comply.
The officers implicitly threatened MacCormack by asking if he knew Section 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act pertaining to the harboring, transporting and smuggling of non-citizens. "ICE tried to intimidate me into relinquishing my rights and I upheld my unwavering defense of our community," MacCormack said. He then told the officer his attorney was on the way.
ICE called the Hudson Police Department (HPD) who dispatched two cars to the scene.
Two Hudson Common Council members came to witness the attempted raid and advised the HPD that they must abide by the executive order.
Upon arrival MacCormack's attorney reiterated the fact that ICE did not have a judicial warrant and could not continue to hold his client. ICE refused to allow a private attorney-client conversation, forcing them to converse via phone from separate cars. The attorney notified MacCormack that he was free to go as ICE had no means of holding him or the individuals in the car without a judicial warrant. Shortly after ICE and HPD left the scene.
MacCormack alerted CCSM members and allies who helped spread the word and implement a plan for the community members to enter sanctuary in a local church.
The March 2017 Welcoming and Inclusive City Common Council resolution and the executive order issued by the Mayor and Police Commissioner clearly states HPD is not to question community members regarding immigration status. CCSM has maintained that HPD is violating the order by asking about immigration status. Hudson resident, Luisa Burgos-Thillet said, "As a Hudson resident I expect Chief Moore and Mayor Rector to enforce the order and clearly communicate it to HPD officers serving our community. ICE's outrageous behavior endangers community members and make us feel unsafe in our own community. I hope local law enforcement is not supporting them. Across the country ICE continues to pressure local police departments to do immigration work. Part of the reason for the order was to prevent that from happening in Hudson."
CCSM will continue to organize, facilitate rights based on education and seek justice for our community through campaigning to hold the Mayor and Police Chief accountable.
Today, CCMS is conducting a phone-calling campaign directed at Mayor Rick Rector, calling him out for "not protecting our neighbors" and asking him "to hold HPD accountable for violating the Welcoming and Inclusive executive order and investigate HPD's collaboration with ICE."

Gossips was not a witness to what happened on Tuesday, but from the account on HudsonValley360 and CCSM's account of the incident, it is not entirely clear how HPD was assisting or collaborating with ICE. According to the article in HudsonValley360, ICE officials called the HPD to say there was a potentially dangerous situation at the corner of Fifth and Warren streets. In response, two cars were sent to the scene to ensure public safety. Chief Ed Moore has confirmed to Gossips that the officers' orders were to stand by in case something happened that put other citizens in danger. Rector is quoted in the article as saying, "The Hudson Police were never directly involved in any ICE activity other than monitoring the situation from a distance to ensure the safety of our community."

The executive order, issued on February 2017 by then police commissioner Martha Harvey and then mayor Tiffany Martin, makes the following declaration:

The resolution passed by the Common Council in March 2017, declaring Hudson a "Welcoming and Inclusive City," states the following:



  1. Not clear at all how the HPD violated the order. Seems they did precisely what the Chief said they did and for the right reasons, too. Not sure what the complaint is here. Also -- sanctuary in a church? While it may feel like it sometimes, it's no longer the middle ages and I'm pretty sure there is no longer any such thing as sanctuary from the temporal authorities in a house of worship.

  2. Hats off to Mr. MacCormack: what he did took a boat load guts.


  4. Much Thanks to Mr. MacCormack, Chief Moore and the HPD.