Immigrant Couple In Country Illegally, Border Patrol Says

Immigrant Couple In Country Illegally, Border Patrol Says

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Border Patrol officials say the Mexican couple picked up at Fort Drum on the Fourth of July admitted to being in the country illegally.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said in an emailed statement that both were charged with being in the country "without admission or parole."

Family members of Concepcion and Margarito Silva told a New York City television station that the couple had lived in New York City for two decades.

"I never thought something like this would happen to them and this is their biggest fear," said their son, Eduardo Silva. "All my dad ever does is work."

They had come from Mexico without documentation, but were approved for an official Department of Labor work permit in 2007, their children told reporters. A spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Labor though told 7 News that the department doesn't issue work permits.

They had traveled from Brooklyn to celebrate the Fourth with a relative who is a sergeant in the Army.

The couple apparently presented New York City identifications at one of Fort Drum's security gates. Julie Halpin with Fort Drum's Public Affairs office says the post doesn't accept those, so the couple was asked for a second form of identification. They then presented Mexican passports, which prompted security to call U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

The Silvas were initially processed at the Border Patrol station on Wellesley Island and taken to the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia, N.Y. 

They were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to await a hearing before an immigration judge.

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