SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn — It was 7 a.m. Saturday at a residential building near the corner of Sixth Avenue and 56th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents knocked on his door.
ICE sweeps were expected to start Sunday, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said ICE agents were in Sunset Park and Harlem on Saturday.
“I told them I couldn’t open the door because the man they were looking for no longer lived here,” the man, who PIX11 is not identifying, said in Spanish.
He said he’s lived in Brooklyn for six years with his family and works as a cook in Midtown.
“It sounded like they were looking for somebody, but nobody opened the door,” said Luis Barrera, a neighbor of the man. “I know my mom told me they knocked on the window and nobody opened. I’m guessing someone ended up coming out and they just went upstairs”
ICE agents allegedly told the man that he needed to open the door but he told them they needed a warrant- so they left saying they would be back.
“It’s scary because it’s my home and I know I don’t have to open the door, but they told me I did,” the man said.
The agents told him they'd be back.
In the neighborhood, activists are out in full force making sure residents in this immigrant strongholds know their rights.
"Don’t open the door,” said Dennis Flores, an organizer for an advocacy group ‘El Grito’. "Just because they have an order to deport doesn’t mean they have an order to search your home.”