Monday, June 23, 2008

ICE agents detain, charge Postville man (Des Moines Register)

ICE agents detain, charge Postville man


A Postville man was detained today on a busy street corner by immigration-enforcement agents in plainclothes.

Eduardo Ixen, a handyman who worked with real-estate firm GAL Investments, LTD., was detained this afternoon by two agents based on a tip, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Tim Counts.

Ixen was charged with the being in the country illegally, Counts said, but said he didn’t know where Ixen was taken or what time he was arrested.

“All I can say is that all of our agents act on specifics pieces of intelligence,” Counts said. “Nothing is random.”

Counts said Ixen was likely not on the list of 697 illegal immigrants from the Agriprocessors Inc. meatpacking plant sought in an affidavit.

Counts declined to say whether Ixen’s detention was a result of a larger campaign to round up the remaining illegal immigrants sought from the original affidavit. It is unknown how many of them are still at large because the names on the affidavit remain sealed.

“Anyone who’s in the U.S. illegally faces potential arrest and removal under U.S. immigration law,” Counts said. “We are an investigative law enforcement agency. All our actions are based on leads and specific intelligence.”

Nina Taylor, who said she’s been helping out at GAL since the raid, said she knew about Ixen’s arrest, but said he wasn’t officially employed by the real-estate company.

“It’s kind of sad, because he’s a real hard worker,” Taylor said. “He’s married to an American woman, he wanted to make good.”

Only two arrests have been reported since the largest single-site immigration raid in U.S. history at the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant on May 12.

The raid led to 389 arrests, including 306 on criminal charges.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said earlier this month that federal authorities have not entered the outstanding warrants into a widely used law-enforcement computer system. The system, run by the National Crime Information Center, routinely alerts police if there's a warrant out for someone they stop for a traffic infraction or other offense.

Postville Police Chief Michael Halse said earlier this month that his department does not routinely act as an immigration-enforcement arm because it can't afford the training, and he said he wants immigrants to feel comfortable reporting crimes to his officers without fearing that they will be deported.

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