ICE nabs teenager hours before his senior prom, days before his graduation ceremony

June 14, 2017

The Washington Post 

On the day of his senior prom, Diego Ismael Puma Macancela was cowering in a bedroom closet, hiding from immigration officers as they pounded on doors outside.

Puma Macancela, a 19-year-old high school student in Ossining, N.Y., expected the authorities would be looking for him. A day before, Immigration and Customs Enforcement had arrested and detained his mother, an undocumented Ecuadoran immigrant who entered the United States illegally with him two years ago.

The high school student has become immigration activists’ latest example of how the Trump administration has intensified arrests of undocumented immigrants — even those without a criminal record. And those arrests could rise more next year if ICE gets the budget boost requested by the Trump, the nation’s top enforcement official told lawmakers Tuesday, as The Washington Post’s Maria Sacchetti reported.

“If you’re in this country illegally, and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable,” Thomas D. Homan, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. “You should look over your shoulder.”

In the aftermath of Puma Macancela’s arrest, relatives, immigration lawyers, Washington lawmakers and even the schools superintendent in his village just north of New York City have mobilized to support the teenager. About 19,200 people have signed an online petition for him.

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