Hispanic community fearful as ICE raid rumors spread

Members of Freehold’s Hispanic community say that they are living in fear because they believe there’s been a crackdown on illegal immigrants in the community.

Freehold's Hispanic community says that they are fearful as immigration raid rumors spread around town.

Freehold's Hispanic community says that they are fearful as immigration raid rumors spread around town. (1/12/16)

FREEHOLD - Members of Freehold’s Hispanic community say that they are living in fear because they believe there’s been a crackdown on illegal immigrants in the community.

A Freehold resident who says her name is “Maria” told News 12 New Jersey that her parents are Mexican immigrants living in New Jersey without documents. She says that for the past two weeks they have been afraid to leave their apartment because they are afraid they will be deported.

“People are afraid of what’s going on this month,” Maria says. “It’s happening. It’s never happened… [officials] are stopping [residents] on the streets and at the stores and ask them ‘Do you have papers?’”

Eugenia Solares, of Casa Freehold, an organization that represents the Hispanic community, says her clients are reporting increased encounters with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in recent weeks.

“There's been a lot of raids, people are very scared,” she says.

However, ICE spokesman Alvin Phillips tells News 12 New Jersey that “ICE does not conduct raids” and the fears are based on rumors.

"We're not doing anything different than we have done in the past,” he says. “To say otherwise would be categorically false."

Phillips says ICE targets individuals based on investigative information, which means they're going after illegal immigrants who have also committed some other crime.

There is a national operation underway to round up undocumented immigrants who have exhausted their claims for asylum.  However, Phillips says that no one in New Jersey has been arrested under that directive.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

An attorney for Hopatcong Officer Nicholas Maresca says 1 Attorney: Officer had no choice but to hit man in bunny suit
Kevin Hodges (right) is accused of killing his 2 Police: Man used cleaver, sword, knife to kill mom, grandmother
Demolition has begun on a Totowa neighborhood that 3 Demolition begins on Totowa neighborhood damaged by hurricane
4 VIDEO: Totowa neighborhood to be torn down
Ride-sharing company Uber says it is able to 5 Concerns grow over Uber's ability to track riders

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE