An upstate New York farmer said agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided his property without a warrant, damaged his phone, and even put him in handcuffs, according to Syracuse.com.
"This was something you see on TV," the farmer, John Collins, said. "You don't expect it to be here."
The surprise raid on Collins' farm came as agents were apparently seeking to apprehend Marcial de Leon Aguilar, a Guatemalan immigrant who had worked there for the past nine months.
Collins said he was out back on the farm when he heard a commotion coming from inside, where at least seven officers had Aguilar pinned against a window as Aguilar's children watched from nearby.
The officers allegedly cuffed Aguilar and took him to their vehicles across the road. Collins followed, asking for a warrant and trying to figure out what was going on.
When the officers told Collins they didn't have a warrant, Collins said he told them to get off his property and release Aguilar.
Collins said he tried to record the incident on his cellphone, but one of the ICE agents took the phone and threw it into the road and handcuffed him, threatening to arrest him for hindering a federal investigation. He was later uncuffed.
"I told them you can't come in here without a warrant," Collins told Syracuse.com. "They can't take someone and throw them up against the wall because of the color of their skin."
Was the raid justified?
If the ICE agents didn't have a warrant, as Collins alleges, then the raid was not legal, even if Aguilar wasn't a legal immigrant.
Collins said Aguilar had the proper documentation to legally work for him and that Aguilar has been paying taxes. Collins said Aguilar has worked for him for about nine months. Aguilar, his wife, and his four children live in a home on Collins' property.
Aguilar's wife, Virginia. was caught crossing the border illegally with their kids and meets with ICE officers regularly because she is seeking asylum from the violence in Guatemala. Aguilar sometimes attends those meetings.
A spokesman for ICE said the agency is looking into the situation.
(H/T: The Hill)