Three men say agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents stopped them while leaving a cold-weather shelter on church-property to demand their papers. While they escaped detention, they say a number of others were detained.
From Covering the Corridor:
Oscar Orlando Ramirez, Marvin Roach and Thermon Brewster said they were just starting their day Feb. 8 when they saw a group of men detained and then arrested by the ICE agents. The three men had exited the Rising Hope Mission Church’s hypothermia shelter around 6:45 a.m. when they saw agents from unmarked police cars pulled up to the Aldi shopping center at the corner of Route 1 and Russell Road.
Each man said the operation, in which approximately 6-7 men were put into large white vans that already contained other men, was like nothing they’d witnessed before.
“I have lived in this county all my life, grew up [here] on Richmond Highway, and that is the very first time I seen something like that happen,” Roach said.
What makes this report troubling is that this seems to be a deliberate skirting of ICE’s sensitive locations policy. A spokesperson from ICE told WRC-TV News that they only detained two people and reiterated that the arrests happened across the street from the church. However church officials say it’s obvious they were staking out the sanctuary and fear it will lead to homeless folks (citizen or migrant) avoiding the shelter in life-threatening weather out of fear of arrest.
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