Visit to NY Army fort lands Mexican immigrants in detention
NEW YORK (AP) — Relatives of a Mexican couple detained while trying to visit their pregnant daughter at an Army fort in upstate New York are asking immigration officials to set the couple free.
Concepción and Margarito Silva were arrested by federal immigration officials on July 4 after they arrived at Fort Drum for a holiday visit with their daughter and their enlisted sonin-law, who live on the base.
The couple, who live in Brooklyn, appear to have attracted the attention of base security personnel after they presented New York Cityissued identification cards at the fort’s gate.
Guards asked to see a different form of ID. When they presented Mexican passports, military police contacted Customs and Border Patrol agents, who detained them.
Concepción, 49, and Margarito, 59, have been in the U.S. for more than 20 years without authorization. They remain held at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Batavia, New York.
Their daughter, Perla Silva, held a news conference with immigration advocates and New York City lawmakers Wednesday in Brooklyn, where she wiped away tears and said her mother should be released because she has a serious heart condition that requires medication.
“We need to get my parents out now!” she said, sobbing.
The daughter said that she spoke with her mother last night, who was frightened after the woman she was sharing a cell with threatened her. The woman was removed from the cell.
The incident was similar to another one that attracted public attention on June 1, when a citizen of Ecuador making a pizza delivery at an Army fort in Brooklyn was detained after presenting New York City’s identification card to the guards there.