CIMA Reports ICE Activity in Hendersonville

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Two arrests were made and reports recently came in to Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acció’s hotline regarding ICE agents following community members and being present in neighborhoods.

The reports included details about a traumatic arrest of a 19 year old. According to CIMA, the youth was a passenger in a vehicle with his mother when plainclothes ICE agents in unmarked cars forced the vehicle onto the shoulder of the road. With weapons drawn and pointed at the mother and son in the car, the agents surrounded the vehicle and proceeded to violently beat on the windows. He was abducted and the family was threatened.

This comes after the extensive raids that took place earlier this year. This past February, in retaliation to 6 major counties ending collaborations with ICE, 270 people were taken across NC. Earlier this month, ICE was active and detained people in Charlotte, Fuquay, Winston Salem, Durham, and Raleigh. In Hendersonville, ICE has posed as workers in a worker van, and they have also impersonated police officers by conducting checkpoints and stopping people for traffic stops.

On a state level, ICE worked with Representative Destin Hall (R-Caldwell) and drafted a retaliatory anti-immigrant bill, House Bill 370. This bill was introduced and has passed the house, where it is currently in review by the judicial committee of the senate. According to the ACLU of NC, this bill would “circumvent the local authority of the sheriffs by requiring them to cooperate with ICE and assist the federal government’s deportation pipeline or face financial penalties.” The penalties also include being asked to resign if they do not cooperate. Sheriffs Miller (Buncombe), McFadden (Mecklenburg), Rogers (Guillford), Baker (Wake) and Birkhead (Durham) are opposed to the bill.

CIMA believes in keeping our communities safe on a local and national level. Communities cannot be safe when people aren’t able to access needed services due to fear and lack of trust caused by ICE. Communities cannot be safe when they are under constant attack and intimidation. Communities cannot be safe when our children, family members, and neighbors are caught in the crossfire and are detained through collateral arrests. Communities cannot be safe when they are being harassed by an agency that is perpetuating and magnifying problems that they say they want to end. By violating the human rights of people and children, abusing power, brutalizing their bodies, and sexually assaulting them, it is clear to CIMA that ICE is not the solution on a state or national level.

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Written by Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acció.