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Concerns Grow Surrounding ICE Arrests

February 16, 2017 11:09 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- President Donald Trump says he's working with the best lawyers to come up with a policy that would deport those in the country illegally with criminal records.

A recent spike in arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement has spike concerns among those in Minnesota's Latino/a community, including in Rochester.

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"Our community is in fear," said Rebeca Sedarski.

Sedarski is president of the Alliance of Chicanos, Hispanics and Latin Americans, and a member of the Rochester Police Oversight Commission.

According to Sedarski, arrests across the country are prompting rumors and stories are swirling on social media.

"They're taking pictures. They're showing the pictures of ICE vehicles. And they're sending them through posts on Facebook," she said. "I've heard there have been ICE vehicles at Walmart in Rochester."

ABC 6 News reached out to ICE, which said no sweeps are happening in Minnesota. The arrests that are happening in the state and nationwide are standard, targeted arrests of criminals in the country illegally.

In a statement, and ICE official said, "Reports of ICE checkpoints and sweeps are false, dangerous and irresponsible. These reports create mass panic and put communities and law enforcement in unnecessary danger."

Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson says under the law, his department has no involvement in ICE arrests. Saying local police are here to serve and protect, not deport.

"These political discussions are having a direct impact on people's levels of confidence and willingness to trust in local government and particularly in local police departments," said Peterson.

Sedarski added, "People will not report crimes that are committed against them. We will have more problems for our community. That's not what we want." 

Local law enforcement rarely works with immigration enforcement, but there is a designation that allows it to happen. There are 38 agencies that take part in 16 states, none in Minnesota.


Credits

James Wilcox

Copyright 2017 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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