Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Ram Zallan


A Rochester-based organization wants Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Batavia to allow a donation of hygiene supplies in order to protect detainees from coronavirus at their facility. 

ICE officials say they can’t accept the donations and that detainees have sufficient access to soap and water for sanitary purposes. 

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News

Advocates and immigration lawyers are calling for the release of detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia amid concerns of a possible COVID-19 outbreak inside.

Rosa Santana is the program director at First Friends of New Jersey and New York near Newark, New Jersey. The project works directly with about 250 detainees and operates a hotline. 

Joseph Celestin, Immigrant Defense Project

Immigration advocates gathered Tuesday in Albany to urge state lawmakers to pass a bill that would prohibit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from making arrests in and around local and state courthouses. 

Mizue Aizeki with the Immigrant Defense Project says that for the past five years, the organization has been monitoring ICE community arrests in New York state. She says since 2017, there’s been an uptick in courthouse arrests.

Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News

On July 16, an Orleans County family found themselves the target of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation. 

“I would have never thought this would happen to one of my close family… it’s just unbelievable,” Cody Gomez said.

“My uncle was going to work and he got pulled over by the ICE patrols and he got detained. Gone to Batavia,” Gomez added.

ICE Officers arrested Antonino Hernandez-Bautista and brought him to a federal detention center in Batavia.

Noelle Evans / WXXI News

About 100 people rallied outside of the Federal Building on State Street in Rochester on Tuesday and called for Congress to put an end to immigration detention centers.

The demonstration was part of at least 184 protests nationwide coordinated under the hashtag #ClosetheCamps by MoveOn.org, ACLU, and other organizations. Organizers said they condemned documented inhumane treatment at immigrant detention centers and were calling for a permanent end to the practice.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials without a judicial warrant may no longer enter New York courthouses in order to observe or arrest immigrants, according to new rules from the Chief Administrative Judge of the New York Unified Court System.

Immigration advocates have pushed for the change for two years, after ICE began aggressively pursuing immigrants for arrest in and around state courts.