Ulster County government won’t cooperate with ICE

County Exec Pat Ryan signs his order.

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan issued the second executive order of his administration on Wednesday, June 26, declaring an official policy of non-cooperation between county government and United States immigration authorities. The order prohibits all county employees from sharing information or otherwise cooperating with the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The executive order comes days after revelations of overcrowded and unsanitary conditions at a Texas facility for migrant children amid tweeted threats of a massive roundup of undocumented immigrants subject to removal orders by President Donald J. Trump.

“In light of statements and threats coming out of Washington, D.C., we are here to make a clear, unequivocal statement about our values as a county and about our values as a community,” said Ryan speaking to a crowd of immigration advocates at the Ulster County Community Justice and Community Empowerment Center in Midtown Kingston. “We reject division, we reject fear-mongering, we reject xenophobia.”

The executive order forbids county employees from sharing information with ICE officials. As an example, Ryan said, Ulster County probation officials would be barred from telling ICE agents when a probationer’s next scheduled appointment was. Ryan said that the federal agency had sought out that sort of information to detain of individuals wanted on administrative warrants for removal.

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Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa joined Ryan at the press conference. Figueroa said that his office had implemented its own non-cooperation policy in February. Figueroa noted that local law enforcement had neither the jurisdiction nor the responsibility to enforce immigration law and suggested that helping ICE round up undocumented immigrants based on an administrative warrant — as opposed to a court order signed by a judge — could violate the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Figueroa added that nothing in the new policies would prevent local law enforcement from going after people, regardless of immigration status, engaged in criminal activity that falls under its jurisdiction.

“Whether you’re undocumented or a citizen, if you break the law you will be taken to task,” said Figueroa. “That doesn’t change.”

There are 11 comments

  1. Tammy Gerard

    What a joke and a disgrace that the people that are suppose to uphold the law are breaking the law. Our new sheriff is a disgrace to the job

  2. Frank

    Xenophobia? Is it xenophobic to enforce our immigration laws? Me thinks not. Stop dragging identity politics into our communities and respect our laws! That sheriff should be fired!

  3. Sean Bonniwell

    For anyone who doesn’t live in the Hudson Valley, these folks commenting negatively about Juan Figueroa are part of a SMALL MINORITY of people who think that way. The vast majority of us here are progressives. Ignore the Trumpists here. Maybe they’ll go away if we ignore them long enough.

    1. Marshall Matt Dillion

      You should really check your facts, here in the upper Hudson Valley, we have Republicans about three almost four to one, as far as party affiliation goes, according to local Election Board data. So, you are exaggerating, at least, or just a full blown deceiver, with that nonfactual post.

    2. wowjustwow

      You’ll never know who’s a Trump supporter in your midst because most want to avoid a sanctimonious rant from people like you. Why waste energy on confrontation when you can spend your time enjoying the government curated public art?

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