Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Fairfax County, Virginia reportedly ambushed a group of Latino men who were spending the night in a hypothermia shelter.
Oscar Orlando Ramirez, Marvin Roach and Thermon Brewster told Covering the Corridor that they were leaving Rising Hope Mission Church’s hypothermia shelter on Feb. 8 when about a dozen ICE agents descended on them and other Latino men.
Ramirez said that he was briefly detained by the agents while they confirmed that he was in the country legally. But he said that other men who he believes have “minor” criminal records and are in the country legally were not released.
“I never seen that before,” Ramirez explained. “It was unusual because I know that two guys that they took from here, were legal residents. [But] they had bad record.”
Brewster and Roach asserted that the agents had been waiting for the men to leave the church.
“I think it was a surprise attack,” Brewster noted.
Rising Hope Mission Church Rev. Keary Kincannon told WRC-TV that the agents “were clearly targeting the church because they knew that they stayed here in the hypothermia shelter.”
“So they were waiting for them to cross the street and then jump on them,” Kincannon said.
In all, Ramirez said that about 6-7 men were put into vans that already contained other men.
An ICE spokesperson insisted to WRC that the raid followed the agency’s “sensitive location” guidelines because the arrests took place across the street from the church.
Watch the video below from WRC, broadcast Feb. 16, 2017.