Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained Brooklyn residents Margarito Silva and Concepcion Barrios when they visited their son-in-law at a New York military base, The Washington Post reported.
Silva and Barrios aimed to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with their daughter Perla Silva, and her husband, an Army sergeant, at the Fort Drum military base. Silvia and Barrios acknowledge living in the U.S. illegally; they both have valid New York City-issued identification cards, which New Yorkers can receive regardless of their immigration status, The Post reported.
Those ID cards were enough to grant them access during previous base visits, but in this case, Fort Drum Military Police called U.S. Border Patrol, which then arrested the couple, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said in a statement to The Post.
Army spokeswoman Julie Halpin told NBC New York that the New York ID cards did not have bar codes that were necessary for base access. The couple has been taken to Buffalo Federal Detention Center to await a hearing before an immigration judge, the report said.
Perla Silva said her 5-year-old daughter watched and wept as her grandparents were taken into custody. "Our family is devastated by what happened… we are most worried for my mother and father, who have serious health issues," Silva said, The Post reported.
Immigrant rights groups, political candidates, and New York’s governor all criticized the couple’s detention, The Post reported. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the couple would receive a pro bono lawyer "to combat this injustice."
"Detaining a hardworking couple visiting their patriot son-in-law on the Fourth of July goes against everything this country stands for," Cuomo said in a Monday tweet.
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