Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D - Westchester/Rockland) lashed out at the Trump administration after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took custody of a teen Ecuadorian national and Ossining High School senior right before his prom and days away from his scheduled graduation.
Diego Puma Macancela who was detained Thursday , had been ordered removed by an immigration judge on Nov. 16 said ICE, disputing a claim by Ossining's mayor, Victoria Gearity, who said that local police were not notified of the presence of immigration officers, who spent two days in the village.
The 19-year-old Puma Macancela is currently in ICE custody pending removal from the United States, ICE said. He was set to attend his prom before he was detained.
Lowey said she has been in touch with ICE to express her "concern for the well-being of the student and his mother, who was also arrested earlier in the week."
“In the Lower Hudson Valley, we understand that our tightly knit, diverse communities are places where people of all backgrounds work to build a brighter future together," Lowey said. "It is unconscionable that the Trump Administration would violate this fundamental trust, and I am deeply concerned this reckless action will have a chilling effect on the critical relationships between immigrant communities, law enforcement, and school officials.
"Young people who were brought to the United States as minors and have no criminal record should never be subject to such a cruel, deportation-first policy."
Lowey said the "Ossining community has admirably risen to show support for this young man who was well-liked and admired."
Lowey said she joined with Ossining community leaders in calling on ICE "to immediately grant this young man a stay of removal.
"While it is critical we work to improve our nation’s immigration system, the Trump Administration’s increasingly aggressive assault on immigrant families does not reflect the values on which this nation was founded.
"Congress must immediately work to pass a comprehensive immigration package that will reform our nation’s broken immigration laws, keep families together, and protect our economy.”
A petition to save Puma Macancela has gathered 1,258 signatures.
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