77% of immigrants arrested in recent ICE raids were 'non-criminal'

Leaders say recent immigrant arrests have community on edge
Published: Aug. 4, 2017 at 2:17 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2017 at 4:30 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Hispanic community is passing out wallet-sized papers for people to give to ICE agents, saying they want an attorney immediately.

They're doing anything to fight back, and getting ready for when ICE comes back.

For three days in July, Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out a nationwide operation targeting unaccompanied minors who came into the country illegally as children and are now adults, focusing on those with criminal histories.

The Hispanic rights group Latino Memphis said communities to this day feel uncertain and scared.

"It's a lot of fear," said Stacie Hammond, Latino Memphis Immigration Attorney.

We now have the numbers in what was called Operation Border Guardian/Border Resolve. ICE said they arrested 83 immigrants combined in Memphis, New Orleans, and Nashville.

Of those, 64 were "non-criminal." Just 12 were people who arrived as unaccompanied children.

"As those numbers show, they go out looking for one person and maybe they find that person or maybe they don't find that person, but in the meantime, they pick up six other people," Hammond said.

"Tense, the pulse in the community is tense," said Pastor Rolando Rostro with Iglesia Nueva Vida Church.

Pastor Rostro said immigrants are afraid to go outside.

"ICE came to Memphis and just pretty much racially profiled, I believe, anybody that has a Latino face and asked them for their documents," Pastor Rostro said.

Attorneys with Latino Memphis are fighting back, investigating the legality of the way the arrests were conducted.

"We're standing up for people's rights," Hammond said.

In the meantime, Latino Memphis is giving anyone who needs it papers of information with answers on how they can protect themselves and their families from another inevitable ICE operation.

"… Just to give them more information, information is power," Hammond said.

Those arrested from Memphis have been transferred from Mason, Tennessee, down to Louisiana.

They're in immigration court and could end up being deported. Many families are preparing to never see their loved ones again.

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