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October 8, 2020

Pressley Questions ICE Following Reports of Unlawful Stop of Man Jogging in West Roxbury

Text of Letter (PDF)

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) sent a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) expressing concern with the Trump Administration’s ongoing efforts to terrorize immigrants and implement its xenophobic agenda in Boston and other communities throughout the country. The letter follows reports this week that several officers in unmarked vehicles engaged in an unlawful stop of Mr. Bena Apreala, a Black man and lifelong Boston resident who was jogging in a West Roxbury neighborhood.

In her letter, Congresswoman Pressley questioned whether ICE’s encounter with Mr. Apreala is part of larger uptick in ICE’s enforcement activities and other hostilities targeting Boston and communities throughout the country. Yesterday, immediately following reports of the incident, she called for an investigation of the unlawful stop.

“This incident has understandably left many in our community fearful of a potential uptick in ICE presence and a possible increase in ICE agents’ enforcement activities in unmarked vehicles,” the Congresswoman wrote in her letter. “Mr. Apreala’s encounter also raises serious questions about whether ICE officers are using enforcement investigations to engage in racial profiling and stop and frisk policing in our communities.”

In a series of questions, Congresswoman Pressley asked ICE to provide additional information about the incident involving Mr. Apreala and requested data from the agency on its enforcement activities in the Boston area.

“The criminalization and targeting of Black and Brown communities by this Administration must end,” the Congresswoman continued. “The public deserves transparency about the presence of ICE officers in our communities and accountability for any federal officers that may be infringing upon an individual’s civil rights.”

The Congresswoman requested a response to her letter in writing by October 15, 2020.

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