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Latino advocacy groups protest recent ICE arrests

Latino advocacy groups and families affected by U.S. government customs enforcement actions last month plan a vigil Wednesday evening to share stories of those the advocates say were unfairly targeted by ICE raids.

CIMA (Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción), families of those detained, the Sanctuary Network and others plan the protest for 6-8 p.m. at New Creation Church, 500 Seventh Ave East.

CIMA (Companions of Immigrants in Action in the Mountains) said ICE carried out raids in Western North Carolina on April 14 where 26 people were arrested. "During the last weeks, two people affected by the raids have already been deported and others are waiting for their deportation with fear of returning to a country they have not seen in years and that does not offer the conditions of personal security for them or for their family," CIMA said in a news release.
Luis Alberto Roblero Cifuentes is a young dreamer who was detained without bond. "Luis, like many other youth his age, was brought to this country at an early age and accompanied by his parents," CIMA said. "How can we deny this youth to stay in a country that he knows no other place to call home?"
The advocacy organization says families of those detained are "are suffering anxiety and despair, not knowing if they will have another change to hug their loved one or to be able to raise a bond of $9,000 or more" and continue to appeal their case.

Carlos Ortiz, who CIMA says was wrongly detained in last month's raids, is scheduled to tell his story. Ortiz was granted bond and has been able to reunite with his family.

“Thanks to the support from the community and strength of the families, Carlos’ case is a perfect example of community organizing works and strengthens the community," said Bruno Hinojosa Ruiz of CIMA. "To not others dehumanize and discriminate members even further.”

ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said the agency carried out targeted enforcement actions against immigrants with criminal convictions.

“The majority of those arrested have criminal convictions beyond their immigration status or … illegally reentered the United States after a previous deportation," Cox told Carolina Public Press. “ ... ICE only conducts targeted enforcement. ICE does not conduct checkpoints, raids or sweeps that target aliens indiscriminately. The agency’s arrest stats reflect this reality. Nationally, 92 percent of all persons arrested by ICE in FY17 either had a criminal conviction, a pending criminal charge, or were already subject to a removal order issued by a federal immigration judge.”