WILLMAR, MINN. — A mobile-home park that is home to hundreds of Hispanics resembled a ghost town Friday, the fourth day of a government hunt for illegal immigrants that has shaken this western Minnesota city’s Spanish-speaking community.What is the lesson boys and girls?
There were no children — or adults — out in the yards or on outdoor decks. The streets were deserted. And the curtains were closed in most mobile homes, with the owners’ cars parked next to them.
“Nobody goes out of their houses now,” said Cecilia Gonzales. She, her husband and children were the only people venturing outside for a walk Friday afternoon. “And people aren’t driving their cars. A lot of people aren’t going to work. Everyone is scared.”
Immigration attorneys estimate that about 50 people have been arrested in the Willmar area since Tuesday, when immigration agents began knocking on doors in search of illegal immigrants with felony records.
Since then, immigrants have been hypervigilant for the vans with darkened windows used by immigration agents. Almost like a game of cat and mouse, immigrants report the latest van sightings to a local immigrant advocate, just as immigration officials are keeping tabs on them.
After a flurry of arrests earlier in the week, Friday brought a strange calm. Maria Diaz, a community organizer who has been fielding hundreds of calls on the arrests, said she was informed about just three arrests Friday.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would not confirm any numbers, saying it’s “an ongoing operation.”
Meanwhile, some immigrants were going into hiding until the threat of deportation ended, advocates said.
Enforcement works!! Every time!
H/T immigration watchdog
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