Joshua Goldfein, Staff Attorney in the Homeless Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society, issued the following statement today in response to reporting in the New York Daily News that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attempted to raid East New York’s Women In Need (WIN) homeless shelter:
“We condemn this attempt by ICE to intimidate and target the most vulnerable of immigrants, those who are experiencing homelessness. The response by WIN shelter staff when confronted by ICE agents who did not have a judicial warrant is an excellent example of effective protocol and we laud their effort and success in protecting their residents. While this raid attempt failed and no one was arrested, it is imperative to remember that allowing ICE agents to enter into any space can result in collateral arrests and additional individuals, even those not listed on a warrant, can be pulled into the deportation dragnet.
We urge other City shelters and immigrant communities to remain on high alert, and we will continue educating and preparing our clients and all immigrant New Yorkers to know their rights during encounters with ICE.”