Saratoga Springs rallying to help immigrants as ICE makes arrests

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SARATOGA SPRINGS -- City officials say ICE officials arrested someone this week in Saratoga Springs.

But now places like the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church are declaring sanctuary -- and activists say the need for these shelters became even greater when ICE agents arrested someone.

Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Peter Martin says ICE agents arrested one person in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday, and made a second appearance Wednesday. He didn't have any other info on the arrest.

"Many of those people have a valid claim, to stay in this country and we want to make sure that valid claim is fully heard."

Terry Diggory helped create the welcoming immigrants task force at the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church in 2017.

"We realized that the situation for immigrants would be changing in this country and the language used about immigrants was changing in this country."

The front sign says it all. All are welcome, including immigrants. He says the church teaches immigrants English and gets them in touch with an immigration attorney.

"The apartment is at the front of these stairs."

And they have an apartment that can hold a whole family if they fear deportation.

"There's a long standing tradition to recognize sacred places as places where somebody who is at risk of punishment by the law can find protection.

But with the thought of ICE coming to their town, some local activists are having none of it.

"To drag people who are contributing to our economy who are not causing any problem here whatsoever ever. To drag them away from their work, I think this is cruel," said Linda LeTendre.

And city officials also say they usually don't get much notice if ICE is even coming. This week they ICE gave them around a day's notice before they arrived.

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