Idaho Falls business owner deported; local attorney says deportations could increase
By: Chris Oswalt
Posted: Feb 22, 2017 06:12 PM MST
Updated: Feb 22, 2017 11:07 PM MST
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A Mexican national living in Idaho Falls illegally has been deported after showing up at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Idaho Falls.
According to the girlfriend of Tomas Copado, Tabitha Martinez, Copado went to the Idaho Falls Immigration office on E. 17th Street Tuesday to file paperwork when he was detained and is set to be deported back to Mexico.
"The last 24 hours have been one of the roughest moments of my life,” Martinez said choking back tears. “The kids took it really hard. We have just been crying. I have been so stressed that I have been puking."
Copado is the owner of Vasquez Auto on Elva Avenue in Idaho Falls. Martinez told KIFI/KIDK that Copado went to the ICE office to change his address, something Martinez said Copado has done every year for the past several years.
"I never thought it would happen to me,” said Martinez. “Everything was fine, and then Trump becomes president and changes all the immigration laws. I never heard of anything happening in Idaho Falls yet."
Copado did not have legal authorization to work in the United States and had been deported twice before. Idaho Falls defense attorney Randy Neal said policy changes under President Donald Trump are not to blame for Copado's deportation.
“Just because Trump was inaugurated in January,” said Neal. “I don't think that this case would have been handled differently had the facts developed the way they did in this particular case a year ago."
Neal said Copado's wife, who is also an illegal immigrant, was set to be deported as well but her case was hung up in the legal system. Neal said because the two have minor children, neither were set to be deported until the case was through the legal system. Copado's wife’s case was deferred, resulting in Copado being deported, according to Neal. Copado and his wife are currently in the process of getting a divorce. Copado is now dating Martinez. They have been together for six months and are planning to get married.
Neal said under new standards set forth by the Trump administration, cases like the Copados' will increase over time.
"There are going to be more people affected,” said Neal. “Two or three times as many affected than we have right now. However, those numbers overall, statistically, are going to be fairly small."
Neal said 98 percent of illegal immigrants in the United States will not be affected by policy changes under the Trump administration. Neal believes those who will be impacted the most are those who find themselves in trouble with the law.
"The majority of immigrates are going to find very little change in east Idaho unless they are bringing attention to themselves," said Neal.
According to Neal, there are three ICE officers responsible for counties in east Idaho. He said enforcement will be hard.
This week, the Trump administration unveiled new immigration policies to ramp up border security and expand authorities to deport undocumented immigrants. The new rules, formally released by the Department of Homeland Security, raise several questions about how immigration policy might change.
"There are no official guidelines or policy changes that are already in effect,” said Neal. “They are certainly being discussed. I think many ICE officers are seeing the potential for enforcing the law more than they were doing under Obama."
According to ABC News, the goal of the new Trump guidelines “is to make it easier to deport more immigrants,” the news agency wrote. “Under the new policy, law enforcement may pursue a wide category of undocumented immigrants, including anyone 'with a chargeable criminal offense.'"
"I think you're going to see potentially two or three times more deportationsbusin as we had under the Obama administration,” said Neal. “If we get back to the rules we saw under the Bush administration or the first part of the Obama administration, we are definitely going to see an increase."
Agents at the Idaho Falls Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office would not discuss the Copado case but referred us to a spokeswoman out of Seattle.
In a written statement she said, “Our deportation officers conduct targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls. These operations involve existing, established Fugitive Operations Teams. ICE does not conduct sweeps, checkpoints or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.”
Attorney Neal said the likelihood of Copado being allowed back into the United States is slim to none.
“He will likely be barred,” said Neal. “He has been deported twice.”
The family of Copado said he was taken to a jail in Burley and is expected to arrive back in Mexico Wednesday or Thursday.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Idaho Falls business owner deported; local attorney says deportations could increase
DACA recipient from Los Angeles arrested, attorney says
Leslie Berestein Rojas
February 22, 09:29 PM
A young immigrant from Los Angeles who has been living and working here under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has been arrested and is being detained, according to his attorney.
DACA provides temporary protection from deportation and a work permit to roughly 750,000 young immigrants brought into the country as children who are in the U.S. illegally. Authorized by President Obama, DACA has come under review by President Trump's administration but is still in effect.
Los Angeles attorney Joseph Porta told KPCC on Wednesday that the young man, who Porta would not name, is 22 years old and was detained in the early hours of Feb. 12.
“He got pulled over. I’m not entirely sure why, and he was detained. I'm not entirely sure who detained him or arrested him yet. But long story short, after a very short period, he was immediately turned over to ICE,” Porta said.
Porta said his client has renewed his DACA status twice.
A local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson said she was not immediately aware of the case.
Porta said he is trying to learn more details about the arrest, but that it’s been difficult because his client has been transferred out of the state. The young man is presently being detained in Georgia and faces deportation, he said.
The attorney said the young man has a clean record and may have a speeding ticket, and that as he understands it, no criminal charges have been filed against him.
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), an immigrant rights group, plans a press conference Thursday in Los Angeles regarding the case. The group said it wants to know why immigration officials detained the DACA recipient.
Earlier this month, a DACA recipient was detained in the state of Washington.
This week, the Trump administration released memos detailing an aggressive immigration enforcement plan, but said that the DACA program would not be affected.
Immigration Enforcement Efforts Reported In Ypsilanti
By DAVID FAIR
Residents and city officials are on alert in Ypsilanti. Today, Ypsilanti's expanded human rights ordinance takes effect. Among other things, it offers more protections to undocumented immigrants. Meantime, several residents have reached out to city officials, and WEMU, reporting sightings of federal immigration enforcement officials working in the area.
UPDATE: The U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued the following statement to WEMU: "ICE Enforcement and Removal (ERO) officers conducted targeted enforcement actions in the area of Ypsilanti on Wed. morning, Feb. 23. During the course of action, ERO officers encountered multiple persons who were illegally in the United States. Four individuals were taken into custody and are currently being detained."
A number of residents in Ypsilanti say they have seen the black government vehicles conducting traffic stops and working in area neighborhoods. They, reportedly are wearing the tell-tale "ICE " jackets. "ICE" is an acronym used by the U. S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Ypsilanti Mayor Amanda Edmonds says federal agencies dealing with immigration issues do not reach out to local law enforcement officials when working in a given community. She says she has no official information that undocumented immigrants are being targeted in her city, but that there are enough eyewitness reports to be of concern.
WEMU reached out to ICE and inquired as to whether enforcement actions were underway in Washtenaw County. The short response came in the form of an e-mail from Khaalid H. Walls.
"ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending deportable foreign nationals. All enforcement activities are conducted with the same level of professionalism and respect that ICE officers exhibit every day. The focus of these targeted enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis. ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven. ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately. ICE will not speculate on future operational activities."
Monday, February 20, 2017
ICE arrests man who escaped Illinois prison in 2003
The Associated Press
Posted: Feb. 19, 2017 8:00 am
Updated: Feb. 19, 2017 12:38 pm
CHICAGO (AP) — A man who escaped from an Illinois prison in 2003 has been arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Atlanta.
An ICE spokesman says Jorge Soberanis-Rumaldo was taken into custody Friday as part of an enforcement operation targeting criminal illegal immigrants. Authorities say Soberanis-Rumaldo is a Mexican national who was in the U.S. illegally.
Soberanis-Rumaldo was sentenced to eight years in Stateville Correctional Center on a felony charge of cocaine possession in March 2003. Authorities say he escaped while on work release in June 2003.
The 58-year-old was arrested at his Atlanta home.
He was booked into the DeKalb County jail near Atlanta and is awaiting extradition to Illinois. Authorities say they'll seek to have him removed from the U.S. after any criminal charges he faces are resolved.
Park City immigrants fearful after ICE operation
By CHRISTOPHER SMART | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Feb 18 2017 04:21PM • Last Updated Feb 18 2017 10:09 pm
Some residents of Utah's premier resort town are on edge after federal officials detained four immigrants Friday.
About 24 percent of Park City's residents are Latino and that immigrant population powers its service-based economy.
The Park City Police Department did not respond to inquiries Saturday by The Salt Lake Tribune.
But in a statement, Chief Wade Carpenter said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) informed him that four people were detained between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., according to the Park Record newspaper.
The four people were sought on felony counts involving re-entering the country or other unspecified offenses, according to the report.
The operation came one week after ICE officials detained 680 immigrants in five cities across the country, who, most likely, will be deported.
Neither city officials nor members of Park City's immigrant community have much information regarding Friday's detentions.
But Park City resident Ernest Oriente said accounts shared on social media and in conversations indicate the operation appeared to go on much longer and suggested there could be more than four detainees. The dearth of information is leaving people wondering, he said.
"The official account makes it sound like they just came and took four people between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.," Oriente said. "But that's not the real story. It's far from what happened. The community is frightened."
Rebeca Gonzalez, program director for Bright Futures Program at Park City High School that serves minority students, said young people are asking whether they should go to school and whether their parents could be taken away.
"It's causing a lot of fear in students," she said. "They ask, 'Why is this happening. What can we do?'"
President Donald Trump has said he will deport 3 million undocumented immigrants — but only the "bad ones."
ICE is not conducting sweeps that target undocumented residents indiscriminately, said ICE spokeswoman Rose Richeson.
"Our deportation officers conduct targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency's ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls," she said. "These operations involve existing, established Fugitive Operations Teams."
Such official statements from ICE have done little to assuage fears, said Beth Armstrong, executive director of The People's Health Clinic in Park City, which provides care to the uninsured. People began calling the clinic Friday in a state of panic, she said.
In January, community leaders and local law enforcement officials met with immigrants at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Armstrong said, to explain to them that they didn't have to live in fear.
"Now that is exactly what has happened," she said. "They deserve, at least, to be told what to expect."
The clinic is not a sanctuary, Armstrong said, but will point immigrants to resources that can assist them.