Farmer Says ICE Agents Raided His Farm Without Warrant, Cuffed Him

ICE agents raided an upstate New York farm this week without a warrant. When the farmer questioned their actions, they destroyed his phone and cuffed him.

Due process was not a priority for a handful of immigration officers during a raid of a farm in upstate New York this week.

A farm owned by John Collins and his family was subjected to an unannounced Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid on Wednesday morning. The officials came to detain a worker employed by Collins, an individual named Marcial de Leon Aguilar.

Collins had been working nearby when he heard commotion. When he went to investigate, he found several ICE officials pinning Aguilar up against a wall and handcuffing him.

Confused over what was happening, Collins asked the officials for a warrant or other paperwork explaining what they were doing on his private property.

“I told them you can't come in here without a warrant,” Collins said. “They can't take someone and throw them up against the wall because of the color of their skin.”

Collins continued to insist on some sort of paperwork explaining what was going on and attempted to document the incident with the camera on his phone as agents took Aguilar away — which landed Collins being detained as well.

In a brazen use of force against him, ICE agents took his phone, smashed it in the road, and handcuffed Collins, the farmer said. There is no enforceable statute limiting individuals from recording law enforcement, yet that’s exactly what these ICE agents reportedly did.

During the entire ordeal, Aguilar’s wife and children were watching him being handcuffed.

Reports on the incident prompted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) to demand an investigation into the arrest of Aguilar and the unlawful trespass of ICE agents onto the Collins family farm.

“ICE officers should not be allowed to raid private property without a warrant,” Gillibrand wrote.

ICE is reportedly looking into the incident, but there’s no question that the agents acted in an unreasonable manner. The civil rights of Collins were certainly violated — so, too, were the rights of Aguilar, who is still deserving of Fourth Amendment rights even if he is an undocumented immigrant.

There are certain circumstances where law enforcement can enter a person’s home without a warrant — but those usually require “just cause” or other legal allowances, and in this case such a raid wasn’t required. ICE itself needs to be formally reviewed because, sadly, this isn’t the first time they’ve abused their authority.

Banner/thumbnail image credit: enolbos/Pixabay

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