Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers stormed an upstate New York farm without a warrant, handcuffed its citizen owner, and arrested one of his workers while the man's children watched from a nearby bus stop, the owner told Syracuse.com.
John Collins says it all began when he heard a commotion inside of his Rome, New York milk parlor and found ICE officers had pinned worker Marcial de Leon Aguilar, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, against a window while they handcuffed him. Aguilar’s children, who live on the property, watched as the officers took him across the street to a caravan of vehicles, according to Collins.
The men only identified themselves when asked, Collins said. They also allegedly didn’t have a search warrant, so Collins told them to leave his property.
"I told them you can't come in here without a warrant," Collins told Syracuse.com. "They can't take someone and throw them up against the wall because of the color of their skin."
He said he attempted to take photos of the incident, prompting ICE agents to take his phone and throw it into the street. Collins also claims that he was then handcuffed and threatened with arrest by ICE officers. ICE ultimately uncuffed Collins, he said, but left with Aguilar in custody.
ICE provided a criminal complaint against Aguilar to VICE News that offered its own account of what happened on the farm. According to that document, ICE officers found Aguilar by “opening a publicly accessible door,” according to the complaint. They asked to speak to Aguilar’s employer, which prompted him to attempt to flee. ICE officers then detained him. According to ICE, Aguilar has been “physically removed” from the United State three separate times in 2008, 2011, and 2014. An ICE spokesperson declined to answer questions about a search warrant or Aguilar’s whereabouts.