The Northern Westchester Examiner

Rally Held for Ossining Man Detained by ICE Agents at Home

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An Ossining man was taken into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody last Wednesday morning, but his wife claims the federal agents that came to their home on Pine Avenue took the wrong man.

Marcia Pinos said her husband Carlos Quichimbo was getting ready for work when ICE agents knocked on their door around 6 a.m. with an arrest warrant for a man named Luis. After informing the officers they had the wrong home, she said they continued to ask who lived with her. After explaining she lived with her husband and son, she claimed officers forced their way into the home and arrested Quichimbo, an Ecuadorian immigrant, without a warrant or explanation.

Quichimbo is currently being held at Orange County Correctional Facility.

“I’m very sad and upset right now,” Pinos said. “We’re looking for a lawyer right now with access to his case.”

Pinos also claimed she was handcuffed while her husband was arrested, and said officers got physical with her, leaving her with bruises along her arms and shoulders. Officers released her when she said she had a two-year-old son, she said. Pinos said her family has been seeking legal immigration status since moving to Ossining nearly 20 years ago.

Following the arrest, about 100 people rallied outside Ossining Village Hall chanting “no more deportations” and demanding Quichimbo be released.

“Today is a very sad day. A hardworking neighbor was taken from us and this needs to stop,” said Hudson Valley Community Coalition activist Luis Yumbla. “A wife in good faith opened the door because they were looking for a man named Luis. It’s not right that ICE can come in and terrorize an entire family.”

Members of The Hudson Valley Community Coalition swore to support the family and find them legal representation. They said Quichimbo’s arrest was “inhumane injustice at its finest” and claimed he should have never been detained because he’s never committed a crime.

While ICE didn’t respond for comment, they told NBC News that ICE agents did go to the home specifically looking for Quichimbo, who they said has a previous DUI conviction. They said he would remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.

Pinos said she wasn’t aware if her husband had ever been arrested before.

Ossining resident Veronica Paute said she continues to live in fear after watching her brother get detained by ICE six months ago and then deported back to Ecuador two weeks ago. Paute, who has lived in Ossining for 17 years, said she feels powerless, hopeless and scared that ICE could knock on her door and take her away too.

“We deserve to be treated fairly. We’re not criminals, we’re human beings,” Paute said. “We want to live in peace and do the right thing. We just need an opportunity. This is my home, I don’t know any other place.”

Ossining Police Chief Kevin Sylvester explained that the department has no authority to stop ICE from conducting lawful operations. While he would prefer to be notified when a warrant is being executed for transparency and safety purposes, he said ICE is not obligated to notify anybody when they enter a community.

Ossining village trustee and mayoral candidate Omar Herrera reassured residents that Ossining is a safe and welcoming community for everyone and officials do not enforce immigration laws that fall under the jurisdiction of ICE. While he encouraged residents to trust in the Ossining Police Department for protection regardless of immigration status, he said the community needs to continue to stand up against the type of fear and terror that has been inflicted by ICE.

“It’s a big, big fight but it’s very crucial to understand that in Ossining you are safe,” he said.

Elected officials are encouraging residents to file a civil rights complaint against ICE if they feel their rights have been violated by a federal agent. Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) applauded those demanding more transparency regarding Quichimbo’s arrest, adding that ICE procedures need to be overhauled.

“Such callous treatment of people is not appropriate from federal agents,” she said. “We need residents to trust police officers, and tactics such as these damage those relationships.”

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