Thursday, May 22, 2008

ICE raids net 17 illegal immigrants in Canal (Marin Independent Journal)

ICE raids net 17 illegal immigrants in Canal

Nancy Isles Nation
Article Launched: 05/22/2008 12:21:26 PM PDT

Immigration authorities arrested 17 illegal immigrants in the Canal area of San Rafael in raids that began early Thursday morning.

Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement department, said enforcement teams removed 16 men and one woman. She did not have their nationalities but said she would supply that when it became available.

A Canal resident of 20 years, who asked to remain anonymous, said immigration officials have had a strong presence in the neighborhood in recent months.

"Everybody I know here is illegal and they are all scared," the woman said. "They've all lived here all their lives and they pay taxes."

Kice said the majority of immigrants arrested have had their day in court, have had due process of law and have chosen to ignore court orders.

"They don't have a right to be here," Kice said. "Our responsibility is to enforce the law."

ICE has arrested more than 1,600 illegal immigrants in Northern California since Oct. 1, Kice said. Of those, 1,000 had previously been ordered deported and more than 300 had criminal records.

The San Rafael Police Department did not participate in any of the arrests, said police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher. She said the department was notified at 5 a.m. that ICE agents would be attempting to serve federal deportation warrants in several areas of the city.

On Tuesday, San Pedro Elementary School principal, Kathryn Gibney, testified at a congressional hearing on the continuing emotional and social trauma of last year's federal immigration raids, calling the crackdown "devastating" to her students.

Gibney told the Workforce Protections Subcommittee that she is still seeing rising absenteeism and falling test scores as a result of the raids.

No comments: