U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, announced roughly 1,300 arrests nationwide last week as a part of their crackdown on undocumented immigrants, 60 of which were made in Washington State.
Stops and arrests were reported and verified by the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WISN) in Kitsap County, where ICE agents stopped a truck at the Port Orchard Shell station and detained multiple people. Monserrat Padilla of the WISN said to the Kitsap Sun that the agents appeared to be targeting the gas station because it is a well-known stop for immigrant workers.
Port Orchard resident, Miguel Francisco posted on Facebook that he was approached and harassed at the Shell station by agents in eight police cars and called it the “worst experience of my life…the Q13 Fox News reporters were just there watching it all go down, I felt humiliated to say the least.”
Brandi Kruse, a Q13 reporter present during the operation, said in another Facebook post that “the person [the agents] were looking for was not inside the vehicle, so they had no legal authority to detain the occupants or force them to exit the truck, so the agents left.”
The Kitsap Sun reported on Tuesday that immigration advocates have criticized ICE activity in the county for racial profiling, and are urging residents to know their rights. American Civil Liberties Union officials say a judge-signed search warrant is required to give police and immigration officers’ access to search property. Some county officials have expressed concern over the rising fear in families and communities due to increasing immigration operations in the state.