ITHACA, N.Y. — The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has recently arrested three people in Ithaca and declined to release basic information about the incidents, such as the names of the people taken into custody and charges against them. Local activists and organizations are hoping to tackle the issue head on, hosting a rally Tuesday afternoon in the Ithaca Commons, not far from where at least two of the arrests happened.
“We needed to hold another rally in light of the recent ICE raids that happened at Taste of Thai,” activist Carolina Osorio Gil said.
Osario Gil is the director of ¡CULTURA! Ithaca and helped organize the anti-ICE rally in May after Ithacan Jose Guzman-Lopez was taken into custody by ICE agents while walking along Cascadilla Street.
Police officers, activists and local politicians have all said that Guzman Lopez’s arrest by ICE agents in the city of Ithaca was the first arrest of an undocumented person for immigration violations in years. Since then, two men were arrested while working at the Taste of Thai restaurant in the Ithaca Commons and another person was also taken into custody in Ithaca Jan. 23. Few details have been released about the arrests.
The rally is happening from 3:30 – 5 p.m. at the Bernie Milton Pavilion Stage on the Commons, and was organized by a variety of local community groups.
Osario Gil said point of the rally is to bring together people from the community and different organizations to address not only immigration, but issues that run the gamete from housing, development, the LEAD program, LGBTQ, alternatives to incarceration, and others.
“It allows us to (address) a bunch of issues,” she said, and to offer people actionable items to get involved in addressing local concerns.
Osario Gil said the rally was scheduled Tuesday for two reasons: because ICE has been executing its raids on Tuesday and because it’s the day of the first Tompkins County Legislature meeting this month.
She said it’s important for people to get involved in local policy making. After the rally, her and others will be marching to legislature chambers at 121 E. Court St. to address elected officials during the public comment period of the meeting.
The meeting is scheduled to last from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. A live-streamed video of the meeting will be available here directly before the meeting begins.
Find out more about the event at the Facebook page here.
Featured photo: More than 100 people protest against the actions of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency during a rally in May. Photo by Jacob Mroczek