Monday, February 13, 2017

Local immigration attorney says Monett on edge, feels fears mostly unwarranted (KY3-MO)

Local immigration attorney says Monett on edge, feels fears mostly unwarranted
By Sara Forhetz | Posted: Mon 6:22 PM, Feb 13, 2017 | Updated: Mon 6:26 PM, Feb 13, 2017

MONETT, Mo. Initial numbers show about 600 undocumented immigrants were picked up over the weekend-- to be deported. Now, many more are on edge across the U.S., and in Monett.

The Barry County town had two illegals arrested two weeks ago, both were working in the kitchen at the Ziggie's restaurant in Monett.

Fear is rising in the small town-- thinking who may be next.

"This is Alejandra and he is 16 years old... he is in school and he plays baseball, he loves baseball," explained Alejandra's mom, Anabell Groomer.

For Anabell, born and raised in Honduras, Monett, Missouri, USA-- is now home sweet home.

"I feel like I am from here now because I went back to my country and it was different... so I feel like I am from America!" she said. "I went to Kansas City and I did my test and then I got 6 questions of out 10 correct, and I got my citizenship and I become like you-- a citizen."

Anabell's helper-- is her husband, who's an immigration attorney in Monett.

"I love the Hispanic community. I went into law school to be an immigration attorney and it's very personal to me... absolutely," said attorney Darwin Groomer.

He's had potential clients pouring in over the last few days-- with fear. Groomer says he believes much of it, is unwarranted.

"ICE doesn't have the money, they don't have the resources to do door to door arrests... as long as ICE does not begin to go door to door and arbitrarily start profiling people... I mean, that's the fear.. but then the fear will eventually subside," Darwin said.

Groomer says if your record is clean-- you're likely fine. He and his wife are pushing people to go through the process legally... especially their loved ones.

"I have bunch of friends who are residents for a long time like my brother-- I've been asking him everyday... becoming a citizen... but he's afraid," Anabell said. "He's afraid... his English, he's still learning English."

Darwin says the time is too much to wait for some people.

"She's applied for her brother's permanent residence. He's going to have to wait 10 years to enter... and we're going about everything the right way... the process is too difficult, and if they could just make it more streamlined and more efficient," Darwin said.

"My brother, he worked for a company over there and he only make like 120-dollars a month-- and he worked from Monday through Saturday sometimes," Anabell said. "These same people can come to America do the same thing and make 500 bucks a week instead of 120 a month-- so it's just greater opportunity."

ICE agents picked up two kitchen workers for deportation at the Ziggies restaurant in Monett two weeks ago.

We know at least one had a criminal history-- and had a prior order to leave.

ICE says they are targeting illegal immigrants with a serious criminal record.

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