Immigrant family deceived by ICE, father facing deportation

Mayor de Blasio demanded an end to ICE agents posing as NYPD officers

Loading the player...

In uptown Manhattan, an immigrant family man was apprehended by ICE agents who was pretending to be NYPD officers.

Fernando Santos-Rodriguez is a 48-year-old undocumented immigrant who spent 30 years of his life in New York. His wife said she was tricked into helping ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents.

Read More: Boston officials seek answers after Black jogger stopped by ICE

ICE agents went to the Santos-Rodriguez residence and initially, Maria, Fernando’s wife, refused to let the agents in.

The agents found an alternative entrance through the building’s superintendent.

The agents showed Maria a picture of a man who was not Santos-Rodriguez but went by the same name.

Thinking it was an innocent mix up, Maria gave the agents her husband’s contact information after the agents requested to see her husband’s ID.

The ICE agents tracked Santos-Rodriguez to his workplace and arrested him.

Santos-Rodriguez, a married man with four kids, is currently in ICE custody at the Hudson County Jail in Kearny, N.J., facing the possibility of a deportation hearing, The New York Daily News reported.

“He is a good man. He is not a criminal,” his wife of 25 years said. Maria, alongside other family members, have declined to give their full names.

Last Saturday, his family spoke out against the operation, saying they got duped into assisting the ICE agent arresting him, the head of their household, the Daily News reported.

The incident sparked outrage from New York City’s democratic politicians, who were already fighting with President Donald Trump and his administration’s covert ICE operations.

“This is a violation of our law,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, an ex-city police officer who running for NYC mayor in 2021, said. 

“You cannot state that you are a municipal police official. You cannot violate the law to carry out the law,” the mayoral candidate continued.

City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) was told by the 34th Precinct head that none of its officers were involved, nor did anyone approved the ICE agents to pose as city cops.

Council member Carlos Menchaca (D-Brooklyn), who is head of the immigration committee, reported an increase in ICE activity around the city during the last few months of Trump’s four-year term, The Daily News reported.

Read More: ICE guards sexually assaulted immigrants, complaints claims

“We are seeing them escalate their terror in our communities,” said Menchaca said. “This thing that Trump wants in the days before this election is real. He wants to make us afraid.”

In response to “numerous reports” covert sting operations, Mayor Bill de Blasio sent a letter to ICE officials, demanding an end to agents posing as NYPD officers.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...

Share