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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Bean Station raid workers arrested at ICE check-in

    Mother arrested in Bean Station raid among those taken into custody at ICE check-in

    Travis Dorman, Knoxville
    Published 4:00 a.m. ET Feb. 13, 2020 | Updated 10:27 a.m. ET Feb. 13, 2020


    A mother of three who has lived in Morristown for 15 years was among several people arrested during a routine check-in at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Knox County last week, her lawyer told Knox News.

    Victoria Contreras Pacheco, a 34-year-old from Mexico who entered the country without permission, was abruptly taken into custody Feb. 5 when she showed up to the ICE office on Prosperity Drive, said attorney Caleb Mundy. She has been separated from her children — American citizens ages 4, 8 and 14 — and moved to a detention facility in DeKalb County, Alabama, where she remained Wednesday.


    Pacheco was one of nearly 100 workers arrested in the Bean Station slaughterhouse raid of April 2018, according to the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.


    "ICE at that time decided to release her on her own recognizance, which means she was released without any bond," Mundy said. "They took a look at the facts of her life and determined she was not a flight risk nor a risk to her community, which is how they determine whether someone needs to be in detention.


    "At this time I have no idea why they suddenly and unexpectedly — and without any kind of evident due process — changed their minds on that."


    Southeastern Provision, a cattle slaughterhouse in Bean Station, Tenn., was the target of a federal immigration raid that rounded up 97 people on April 5, 2018. (Photo: Travis Dorman / USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee)


    In the past, check-ins were mainly uneventful affairs during which migrants showed up to their local ICE office, reported whether they had moved and were reminded of their upcoming court dates before leaving to go about their daily lives.

    But in January 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that gave wider latitude to immigration authorities, allowing them to detain anyone in the country illegally. Since then, more check-in arrests have been reported, prompting outcry from advocates who say the tactic instills fear in those trying to follow the rules of the country's immigration system.


    "It's hard to overstate how harmful it can be when individuals are targeted while complying with ICE orders," Matthew Lopas, manager of the Winning in the States initiative at the National Immigration Law Center, wrote in a statement to Knox News.

    "The trauma inflicted from these arrests extends well beyond the individual — it radiates to their families, loved ones, neighbors, and the entire community.


    "We strongly denounce ICE's tactic of trapping people who are diligently showing up for their check-ins, and are deeply concerned to see this practice ramping up in recent weeks in Eastern Tennessee."

    Guatemalan mother also arrested


    Also arrested at check-in Feb. 5 was Elena Felipe-Mateo, a 22-year-old mother of two from Guatemala. Felipe-Mateo came to the U.S. to seek asylum in 2019 and in doing so pleaded guilty to the federal misdemeanor of entering the country illegally, her attorney said. Like Pacheco, Felipe-Mateo was released from custody and had been awaiting a pending court date when she was arrested at the Knox County ICE office.

    News that Felipe-Mateo had been separated from her children — ages 5 months and 2 years — prompted more than 90 local religious leaders to sign a scathing statement saying the arrest "does nothing to increase safety in our community, undermines the legally required reporting process and does immeasurable damage to a family that has sought refuge from dangers most of us cannot imagine."


    Deportation officers are generally allowed to use their discretion to decide which migrants should be taken into custody and which should be released to help free up detention space. Migrants convicted of crimes have traditionally been prioritized for removal.


    As government regulations increase and more immigrants seek asylum in the US, Los Angeles federal judges are having a hard time keeping up with cases. USA TODAY

    So attorneys for Felipe-Mateo and Pacheco have expressed surprise about their arrests, saying they haven't committed any crimes since coming to the U.S. and that nothing about their cases has changed since authorities first chose to release them.

    "I haven't gotten anything from ICE or the immigration court," Mundy said. "I called the enforcement officer in Knoxville the day (Pacheco) was arrested. He confirmed that she had been arrested but couldn't provide any reason. He said something came from further up the line, and he didn't know why."


    ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said Felipe-Mateo and Pacheco were only ever released from custody "on humanitarian grounds" — Felipe-Mateo because she was pregnant when she entered the U.S., Pacheco because she was "a sole caregiver to minors." The agency arrested the women, he said, after determining those grounds no longer exist.


    Cox said the agency makes custody decisions "on a case-by-case basis," and periodically reevaluates prior custody decisions. He has not responded to questions about whether the local ICE office suddenly reevaluated several cases as the result of a policy change or at the direction of a new supervisor.


    A U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office is seen on Prosperity Drive in Knox County on Feb. 11. (Photo: Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel)


    About the raid

    Pacheco came to the U.S. without permission in 2004, Mundy said. She has lived and worked for years in the Morristown area with her longtime partner, who is the father of her three children. The kids are now being watched by relatives while their father works.

    "I have a stack of, I don't know, a dozen letters from her community supporting her case, which is ongoing," Mundy said. "They're just talking about how she's a pillar of her community. She's super involved in her two different churches in the Morristown area. She's a wonderful mother and hard worker."


    In April 2018, ICE and IRS agents descended on the Southeastern Provision meatpacking plant in Bean Station and rounded up 97 men and women in what ranked at the time as the nation's largest workplace raid in a decade. The raid stemmed from an investigation into tax dodging by owner James Brantley, who ducked about $2.5 million in payroll taxes by hiring undocumented workers and paying them in cash for years.


    Pacheco and other workers were soon placed into deportation proceedings. She was released from custody while her case wound its way through the court system. Others either made bond, were deported or left the country voluntarily.


    James Brantley is the owner of a Grainger County slaughterhouse, Southeastern Provision, that was targeted in a federal immigration raid. (Photo: Travis Dorman / USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee)


    Brantley eventually pleaded guilty to federal charges of tax evasion, wire fraud and employing unauthorized immigrants. He is serving a year-and-a-half in prison.

    Seven former slaughterhouse employees sued a group of ICE agents
    , saying they cursed at, shoved, punched and otherwise abused workers during the raid. That case is ongoing.


    Since her release, Pacheco has made it to all of her ICE check-ins, applied for a work permit and filed for cancellation of removal, Mundy said. Her trial was set for 2022.


    "Cancellation of removal is available for people who have been in the United States for 10 years or more who have a clean criminal history and what's called good moral character," Mundy explained.

    "That basically means they haven’t committed any kind of crimes, and they file their taxes, which Pacheco has always done."


    Mundy said his client is so dedicated to following the rules, she once drove across the state overnight to show up for court in Memphis during a federal government shutdown.


    "I told her the doors are going to be locked, and she was so committed to showing up to all her stuff that she was there at 9 in the morning," he said.

    "She’s very committed to seeing this process through, and she’s got a good case."

    https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/...le/4737730002/

    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Deport her minor children WITH her.

    Do not leave them behind!

    American children are "traumatized" when their American parents go to jail.

    At least these women can TAKE their children with them back home. Adios!
    GeorgiaPeach likes this.
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

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