MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fear is mounting in the Latino community as the federal immigration agents said they are working an operation in Shelby County.
Witnesses said they spotted immigration agents Tuesday arresting more people.
“They just jumped out on people asking for their identification, green cards,” said Keedran Franklin, who recorded one of the arrests on Sunday.
Franklin said there’s more videos and pictures like he took surfacing on social media showing the feds raiding Latino neighborhoods.
Immigrants and Customs Enforcement confirmed they are conducting an operation in Shelby County right now.
They went on to say, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is currently conducting a surge operation focused on the identification and arrest of family units, adults who entered the U.S. as unaccompanied alien children (UAC), and UACs who are at least 16 years old and have criminal histories and/or suspected gang ties.”
Franklin said he wants to see the proof.
“Show proof that the people that you captured Saturday or wrangled up Sunday are threats to our safety,” said Franklin.
ICE said they will release more information about the arrests soon but told WREG, “Attempting to unlawfully enter the United States as a family unit or UAC does not protect individuals from being subject to the immigration laws of this country. As DHS Secretary Kelly and Acting ICE Director Homan have stated repeatedly, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of national security and public safety threats; however, no class or category of alien in the United States is exempt from arrest or removal.”
Latino Memphis said fear is crippling communities and people are afraid there will be more raids like this under the Trump administration.
“They are breaking up families. I don’t think this makes our country better or safer,” said Mauricio Calvo, Latino Memphis executive director.
City leaders and MPD said they have nothing to do with the raids, so WREG had to ask when a viewer sent us a picture of a MPD officer with immigration agents Tuesday morning.
MPD said a man called 911 when the feds surrounded his car, and ICE called them too when the man refused to get out.
Officers said they witnessed ICE arresting the man when they got to the scene.
Activists have now set up a hotline for people to call when they see ICE. That number is 901-366-5882.