Visit to NY Army fort lands Mex­i­can im­mi­grants in de­ten­tion

Manteca Bulletin - - Local -

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.

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