State

New York state Attorney General issues warning on immigration scam

Aline Martins | Staff Photographer

The New York state Attorney General’s office has gotten reports of scams after the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency carried out multiple raids across the country over the last few days.

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Wednesday released an urgent fraud alert in response to increasing reports of immigration scams, where fake immigration officers are demanding money from individuals in exchange for avoiding deportation.

Schneiderman said in a press release that the Attorney General’s office has gotten reports of scams after the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency carried out multiple raids across the country over the last few days.

“It is unconscionable for scam artists to prey on heightened fear in our immigrant communities by pretending to be ICE officers and demanding that families pay up in order to avoid deportation,” Schneiderman said in the press release. “I urge communities to protect themselves by learning about these potential scams — and contacting my office if they suspect fraud.”

In one case in Queens, four individuals disguised as ICE agents threatened an immigrant man, saying he would be detained unless he paid them all the money he had.

Schneiderman said there were also reports of unsolicited calls from individuals pretending to be immigration officials seeking money.

Immigration officials never ask for money, Schneiderman said.

There have been reports of ICE conducting raids targeting undocumented immigrants nationwide, with more than 680 people arrested last week, according to media reports quoting United States Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Immigration officials in Washington state detained a 23-year-old man who is protected under former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, according to the Los Angeles Times. The program is meant to shield undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. who entered the country as minors from deportation.

The immigration agency said the series of raids are “routine” and unrelated to President Donald Trump’s harsh immigration policies, per the New York Daily News.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner previously declared the city of Syracuse a sanctuary city. Syracuse is one of about 300 cities across that country that shield arrests and deportations of people without legal permission to be in the United States.

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