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Collier residents say they've seen more ICE agents this week

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 10:58:27-04

IMMOKALEE, Fla., - Some people living in Collier County are on edge after they say they’ve seen Immigration Customs Enforcement agents detaining people over the past few days. 

“He’s never been away from the kids. He’s always been here with the kids,” said Mayra Garcia, a mother of 3 and lifelong Immokalee resident. 

She says her husband Jesús was at a El Taquito, a Mexican restaurant in Immokalee Tuesday morning when ICE agents surrounded his car

“They were looking for one specific person but because they were all together and they had no ID, they were also taken,” Garcia said.

Garcia says she’s seen more ICE agents this week than she normally sees. Some people have even turned to social media to get out the word about where they’ve seen ICE agents.

Garcia says Jesús is a Dreamer, born in Mexico but came to the United States as a young child. He’s lived in Immokalee for the past two decades. Now, he’s being held in an ICE detention center in Miami where he could face deportation.

His wife of 9 years, Garcia is a citizen. She says they’ve been working on getting his papers through the Dream Act until the bill failed in Congress.

It’s a situation that resonates with many Immokalee residents, Garcia says. Many are still living in fear they could be next.  “People are scared. They don’t want to get out of their house.”

Including Garcia who wrestles with the thought of her husband not coming home.

“I’m just trying to go day by day but I’m hoping he’ll be out soon.”

ICE confirmed with 4 In Your Corner that there have been recent arrests in Collier County. A spokesperson says the agency doesn’t typically arrest people at random. Instead, they perform targeted enforcement. 

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office says it hasn’t been assisting ICE with anything going on in the County Tuesday or Wednesday.