November 20, 2017 - Professor Peter L. Markowitz was quoted in The New York Times regarding a lawsuit filed in response to an incident involving Denis Guerra Guerra, an immigrant from El Salvador. Guerra Guerra was stopped by the police in Nassau County in August 2017, for failing to signal when changing lanes, a traffic infraction punishable by a ticket. Two weeks later, he was deported to El Salvador.
A police officer took Guerra Guerra’s passport and discovered a pending order of removal from immigration authorities. Lawyers said that that the county police department was cooperating with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in ways that break state law.
Markowitz said, “New York State laws strictly define when it is O.K. and not O.K. for a state officer to make an arrest. And that does not include the authority to make civil immigration arrests.”
The suit was filed by the Central American Refugee Center, a Long Island immigrant legal services organization commonly known as Carecen, and the Hofstra Law Clinic.