On 4th of July, a Mexican immigrant couple, who live in Brooklyn, arrived at the Army base at Fort Drum near the U.S. border with Canada to spend holidays with their daughter and son-in-law who was about to get deployed in Afghanistan.
However, not only were they stopped from entering the airbase, they were questioned by border patrol agents and were then detained and shifted to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility hundreds of miles away.
When the two detained, identified as Concepcion and Margarito Silva, arrived at the airbase, they were told to show their IDs. Both handed the security officials valid New York City IDs they had used to enter military airbases before.
But this time they were not allowed to cross Fort Drum’s gate. Concepcion and Silva were then told that they had to show a second form of identification which they didn’t have because they had not encountered a situation like this before.
They only had their passports on them which they showed to military but after a while Border Protection Agents showed up at the airbase and detained the grandparents. They were then shifted to a detention center in Buffalo.
Their family is understandably outraged at the incident.
Eduardo Silva, the couple’s son, said his parents were born in Mexico but have been living in the United States for more than two decades. They came to the country undocumented and in 2007 were given the Department of Labor work permit.
He added both his parents recently underwent surgeries. They now need special medical care and medication and he reportedly got a call from his mother who said they are not given the required medication.
“I know my dad, and he is scared. I don't understand why people pick on people that just want to work and live their life without any troubles,” said the son.
Dulce Silva, daughter of the detained couple, said, “We don't know what could happen to them in there. It would be crazy if they didn't make it out of there.”
Activists are now calling for the release of the detained couple.
“This is yet another case of rogue ICE and CBP agents, in concert with military personnel, using all of their energy to tear apart immigrant families and put our loved ones at grave risk. ICE must free the Silvas today. And, with new evidence presenting itself every day of this agency’s heinous abuses against our community, we continue to say: abolish ICE,” said immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Loren Elliott