U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has issued a statement in response to a man being detained at a Rome farm on Wednesday morning.
John Collins said ICE officers showed up at his farm on Thomas Road in Rome Wednesday morning and detained one of his employees, Marcial DeLeon-Aguilar, who lives on Collins’ farm with his pregnant wife and four children.
ICE officials said in a statement on Thursday afternoon, "On April 18, ICE deportation officers arrested Marcial DeLeon-Aguilar, a citizen of Guatemala illegally residing in the U.S., on immigration violations. ICE previously removed DeLeon-Aguilar from the U.S. on three occasions, most recently in January 2014. He has criminal convictions for reckless aggravated assault and illegal re-entry and is currently in ICE custody.”
Collins claims that he was helping DeLeon-Aguilar earn legal documentation, and he says that DeLeon-Aguilar had an I-9 form and also had part of his salary withheld for taxes.
Collins also says that ICE officers lied about DeLeon-Aguilar resisting arrest.
ICE officials say those who illegally re-enter the country after being removed can face federal felony charges that carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
ICE also provided the following information:
With respect to judicial warrants, federal immigration law clearly provides for the arrest of removable aliens based on administrative arrest warrants issued by authorized immigration officers. Federal regulations specify which immigration officers have this authority. 8 CFR 287.5(e)(2). Such administrative warrants are supported by probable cause. The administrative immigration enforcement process designed by Congress creates no role for federal courts in determining whether an individual alien should be arrested for violating federal immigration law.
Collins says that he was handcuffed as well during the incident, then released on his own property.