New Paltz councilman wants to put ICE on ice

The situation with Matthew Rojas recently exposed weaknesses in the New Paltz town law intended to provide sanctuary to illegal aliens by preventing town employees with cooperating with agents of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau (ICE). Rojas was picked up on his way into the New Paltz town court on November 27 to answer charges of marijuana and cocaine possession. As someone listed under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, he could be deported if convicted of a felony, which the cocaine charge was, but had he made it inside, he would have learned that the charge was being reduced.

Town Board member Dan Torres believes that by detaining Rojas in this manner, ICE agents deprived him of his fifth and tenth amendment rights. In addition, as he explained during the December 6 Town Board meeting, the apprehension sends a message that those here without documentation cannot use the court system safely, rendering them unable to seek justice for themselves and making them more vulnerable to crime. While many, including Barack Obama who instituted the DACA policy, are particularly sympathetic toward those who were brought to the United States illegally as children, a common alternate perspective is that those who violate immigration law should not enjoy the rights of those in this country legally, particularly citizens. Court decisions, thus far, support the former over the latter point of view.

What Torres now proposes is a new law which would prevent ICE agents from making arrests on town property without a judicial warrant. Typically, they generate their own documents, called a civil detainer, without using the oversight of a judge. There is little case law in this area, Torres found when speaking to attorneys, but “we do have the authority to pass such a law.”


The natural next question is whether this would result in a lawsuit which must be defended at taxpayer expense, but Torres thinks not. Only ICE officials would have the legal standing to sue, he said, and should that occur, he is confident attorneys would come forward willing to represent the town pro bono, as such a case could be used to build one’s professional reputation.

There are 18 comments

  1. Julian Brachfeld

    Your twisted liberal think is destroying everything it touches. You’ve achieved levels of stupid previously thought non achievable.
    What part of the unconstitionality of sanctuary cities escapes you ?
    Please. Do our republic a huge favor.
    Pack your crap up and move to your very own island that you can run your way. You can all sit around hugging trees and singing Kumbaya… And when you get invaded by people who are uninvited and want to leech on your productivity, then maybe you’ll understand why borders are to be protected.

    1. Rex the Tex

      Wow. Somebody in the room is angry — and wildly uninformed.
      We all know how you love to play with yourself while watching the hate-based, false facts entertainment that is Fox “News”…but here’s the truth of this entire thing.

      1. Illegal immigration by Mexicans has been dropping steadily from its peak in 2007. That’s 11-years of steady

      2. The invasion by the fake caravan hasn’t happened. It was fake news generated by Fox News.

      3. Anyone who thinks spending $5 Billion + on a “Border Wall” doesn’t know what they are talking about.
      That’s $5 Billion we don’t have to spend. And right now, more than 36,000 Americans die annually from opiod
      addiction and gun deaths are at a 40-Year High in America. Two major public health crises that the Republi
      cans won’t deal with. That $5 Billion + should be focused on those two issues. They cost YOU, Julian, several
      thousand dollars per year out of your pocket…

      4. The Republicans under President Liar have pushed the US Deficit to over $1 Trillion – the highest level in 6
      years, and adding another $5 Billion + for a Border Wall just keeps pushing it higher. YOU, Julian will be
      paying for that, too.

      5. Terrorists are not coming through Mexico, that’s the other major lie. The terrorist that gets YOU, Julian is
      already living in the United States and is assimilated into US Culture. That’s how that whole things works
      today. And you discount our local, state and Federal law enforcement when you pretend a race-baiting
      Mexican Border Wall will make a difference. IT. WILL. NOT. Law Enforcement are the ones who are stopping
      and aprehending Terrorists and foiling plots. Not a border patrol or border wall.

      6. Lastly, Julian, You are a complete and utter fool if you think for one second that the people you’d classify
      as ‘Liberals’ don’t want to live in a safe and prosperous nation. We fight in the military, we are in law enforce
      ment, WE enjoy 2nd Amendment Rights, too!!! We are NOT the one’s who’ve crawled into bed with the
      Russians to wreak havoc in our Democracy.


      1. Tom

        #1 And how about the rest of South America? 10,000 Hondurans are now at the border demanding that either the US let them in or the US pay them $50K each to go home!

        #2 The caravan is fake? Tell that the citizens of Tijuana who are now protesting the invasion! BTW, which major news outlet isn’t reporting this? Calling it fake shows how ignorant you are!

        #3 Illegals in the US costs the American tax payer exponentially more than 5 billion each year. Yes, American citizens needs help… but it hard to do that when the US is expected to provide housing, medical and host of other taxpayer funded welfare for ILLEGALS!!!

        #4 see #3

        #5 Julian never mentioned terrorism… you’re hyperbole is simply to press your propaganda!

        #6 Whatever…

        Rex, wanting to protect the US from an ILLEGAL invasion by economic immigrants now demanding money or entrance all the while waving the Honduras flag and singing the Honduras national anthem is an invasion!!! The hate is from people like you use hyperbole propaganda and scream racism and white supremacy against those who believe that the laws of the US should be followed!

        1. Mr L Gilbert, s.u.n.y. npz

          Are You afraid of people? You sound very fearful of people and that is not a good thing. Their are lots of people in the world, many cultures, You should get out and see the world, dont fear people.

          No border wall, walls dont solve problems, the USA not isolated.

          Dont fear people, they wont hurt You.

  2. DJ

    Please stop using the dehumanizing term “illegal aliens” to describe undocumented immigrants, particularly Dreamers.

  3. james

    rex, allow me to address what you posted

    1 the caravan was mostly from central america. they entered mexico illegally, too

    2 if it was fake, then how come cnn, msnbc, abc ,cbs, and nbc all covered it ?

    3 five billion versus a yearly cost of over 160 billion for illegals already in the country, including those in prison for crimes convicted of.. give me a one time charge of 5 billion any day. that saves taxpayers a hell of alot more

    4 the last president doubled the national debt in his eight years in office, from 10 to 20 trillion

    5 DHS an border patrol have said they are catching terrorists every day. so we cant say they are not crossing. the last few months there have been more people stopped from bangladesh than ever before

    6 there has still been no proof russia did anything to effect our election. even dianne feinstein said last november on cnn and abc that based on the intel she had seen, she saw no evidence of russia involvement.

  4. Hudson Valley Mike

    Wow both are ridiculous comments, but I think Rex here takes the cake. Calling someone out for being angry, really?

    How about you yank your heads out of the sand or whatever orifice it is currently inserted. First of all, just because someone disagrees with your Liberal views, doesn’t make them a supporter of violence, white supremacy, or a supporter of Trump for that matter.

    Sanctuary cities will bring more crime and violence period! Think those seeking to get legal status are the ones running to these places? Think again dumb stump, it’s the criminals avoiding being prosecuted. The people seeking citizenship will work towards it no matter where they live. Trust me my immigrant in-laws did so, and members of our family are are currently doing so. None of them support the idea of sanctuary cities.

    As far as the numbers of illegal Mexicans, sure your information is correct. They are lower than previous years, but this is not the case for others crossing the same border. You know like every country south of Mexico.

    With that said, it doesn’t mean I support spending money on a wall, though most of the drugs causing the epidemic your screaming about are finding their way across, so I will leave that for the rest of you “Know It Alls” to debate.

    Also Mr. Righteous Rex, if the left would stop stooping to the level of name calling and finger pointing they might realize that they are preaching the same hate and intolerance as the orange guy in the big White House. It seems everything to do with Faith nowadays is fair game for you. Anything that embodies our countries history, good or bad is being destroyed, really? You can’t rewrite history and even the negative stuff has a life lesson to be embraced, and like it or not our country was built on In God We Trust, so while everyone is surrendering to the pressures of being offended, know that this offends me and many others.

    Lastly, the caravan is not fake! NPR (liberal news) did several interviews with people who participated in the journey. Also, many admitted that not all those in the caravan had the best intentions. So stop with the B.S.! Fox, and CNN are both bias rags that provide their own version of truth. The only people that have an opinion worth a damn are those who realize that both sides of the political fence are corrupt and driven by the almighty dollar. You want to be about positive change or not sounding like you belong on one side or the other of these hateful debates? Then stand in the middle and have an original thought, and know that you can’t just pick and choose who gets fairness.We all (Americans) have the right to a voice and to speak up when we feel that our rights and heritage is being infringed upon.

    Be a good person no matter what and you will help change the way the World is! Otherwise you are just part of the problem.

  5. James Mason

    The Sumerians’ Amorite Wall, Long Walls of Athens, Great Wall of Gorgan, Hadrian’s Wall, Great Wall of China, Walls of Constantinople and the Berlin Wall have all failed. They did create jobs though, and that is what this country is all about, slavery not withstanding.
    If the Town can put big-ass boulders around the grass at the Town/Village park, and the same at the Highway Department, why not around the Town’s courthouse. The Village blocked off Huguenot Street with telephone poles, and they work?

  6. taxpayer

    Dan Torres should resign from the Town Board. As an elected official being paid by taxpayers, he should serve the taxpayers.

    1. Villager 22

      You and me both! I agree that his actions do not Town and Village taxpayers, let alone County and that state representative he’s tied up with, what’s his face?

    1. Mr L Gilbert, s.u.n.y. npz

      Legally speaking You are correct, and New Paltz has a village court system?
      Change the law if You want change,agreed, best to obey current laws and vote for change.

      Voice your ideas and opinions freely…..Never forget we are all human…..

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