An update tonight on the illegal immigrants arrested earlier this month during a raid at a Mishawaka business. Immigration, or ICE, officials tell us 29 of the 35 people arrested are free on bond, and many are back in the community. ICE tells us the workers are still going through deportation proceedings. If they post bond, its simply standard procedure that they're released while they wait to go to court. There are very mixed feelings on some of those arrested workers being back in the community.
South Bend has a largely Hispanic neighborhood on its west side. Many people here belong to Saint Adalbert's Parish. The March 6th raid at Janco in Mishawaka affected a lot of them. Mario Jaramillo says the arrests affected his video rental business in the days following the raid. Through a translator he says, “They're scared for going to the stores because they are afraid that immigration will come to them and take them,” says Jaramillo.
Jose Botello owns a grocery store in the neighborhood. He says his business is just starting to pick up again. “Some people in the area say sometimes, don't go to the Mexican stores because immigration is going to be in Mexican stores, people started to scare other people,” says Botello.
ICE officials in Chicago say court dates are set for the 29 workers. Whether or not they will be deported will be decided on a case-by-case basis. “They’ll be scheduled for an immigration hearing in front of an immigration judge, who will make the final determination, who will ordered them deported from the U.S.,” says Gail Montenegro, a spokesperson for ICE.
Meantime, others in the community are surprised the 29 were released at all. “I thought they'd be detained and it would be a quick process,” says Sandy Paszli, a Michiana resident concerned about immigration officials.
And others tell us more attention should be turned on employers who hire illegal aliens. “You want to stop people coming into the country illegally, also, you know-- penalize the people who give them jobs,” says Bill Hughes, another resident concerned about immigration issues.
While the 29 arrested await court dates, ICE officials say a criminal investigation continues into Janco Composites in Mishawaka. Montenegro tells us if the arrested workers don't show up for their court dates, they'll be declared fugitives and a warrant will be issued for their arrest.
She also says preferential treatment is not given to aliens who have children that are legal U.S. citizens.