Mayor outraged by ICE attempts to apprehend undocumented immigrant

Posted: Updated:
MIDDLETOWN -

The mayor of Middletown says he is outraged at the way undercover ICE agents recently tried to apprehend an undocumented immigrant at City Hall.

ICE agents learned that the unidentified man was due to appear in city court. Officials say ICE agents showed up unannounced with an administrative immigration warrant, and chased the man in question through City Hall.

“This could have turned ugly. This action in a public building undermined all that work we've been doing for years and created fear again,” says Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano.

He says the city and police department have worked hard to build trust within the immigrant community - nearly 40% are Latino – by handing out municipal IDs twice a week so they can feel safe coming to City Hall.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is calling for an investigation into the incident, saying, "These reports are highly disturbing and have caused considerable concern for the Middletown community. I am requesting a detailed explanation of the protocols that govern ICE detainment efforts."

Not everyone is rushing to the defense of the man who got away.

"These people jump the line, they come in, they demand this and demand that. They're illegal. They are storming the border - we can't afford that,” says Kevin Collins.

To make it harder to know when undocumented people may show up for IDs, the mayor says he will expand the program to all business hours, and will also start handing them out at private events.

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