Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Lowey Statement on Arrest of Ossining High School Senior by Federal Immigration Authorities

June 9, 2017
Press Release

Ossining, NY – Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-Rockland/Westchester), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement in response the arrest of a 19-year old Ossining High School senior arrested by federal immigration authorities on Thursday:

“On Thursday morning, federal authorities took a 19-year old Ossining High School senior into custody on the day of his prom and just weeks before graduation simply because of his family’s immigration status. Instead of celebrating the end of high school with his friends and peers, this young man was arrested and processed for deportation to Ecuador. The Ossining community has admirably risen to show support for this young man who was well-liked and admired.

"In the Lower Hudson Valley, we understand that our tightly knit, diverse communities are places where people of all backgrounds work to build a brighter future together. It is unconscionable that the Trump Administration would violate this fundamental trust, and I am deeply concerned this reckless action will have a chilling effect on the critical relationships between immigrant communities, law enforcement, and school officials. Young people who were brought to the United States as minors and have no criminal record should never be subject to such a cruel, deportation-first policy.

"I have been in touch today with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to express my concern for the wellbeing of the student and his mother, who was also arrested earlier this week. I join with Ossining community leaders in calling on ICE to immediately grant this young man a stay of removal. While it is critical we work to improve our nation’s immigration system, the Trump Administration’s increasingly aggressive assault on immigrant families does not reflect the values on which this nation was founded. Congress must immediately work to pass a comprehensive immigration package that will reform our nation’s broken immigration laws, keep families together, and protect our economy."