ICE arrests creating panic with Latinos in Park City

Police claim those with criminal records were taken by ICE

PARK CITY Utah (ABC4 Utah) - The arrests of four undocumented immigrants has created panic amongst Latinos in Park City.

According to Park City police the arrests were part of a normal operation by ICE agents and only those with criminal records were taken into custody.

Norberto Gonzalez is a father who is now wondering if he'll ever see his son and nephew again.
He said his son and nephew were taken by ICE agents because both had been deported in the past.

"We were just driving," Gonzales said in Spanish. "I wasn't speeding or anything. They just pulled me over."

He said they were heading to work along when they were pulled over by ICE agents.  Perez said he saw the agents when they pulled into a convenience store and drove away.  But he said ICE followed him and was pulled over.

He said his son and nephew were taken but he was left behind despite being in the U.S. illegally.

"I don't have anything on my record," he said.  "I have a clean record.  I was surprised they let me go.

That has been ICE policy in the past.  But Perez still worries about the next time they stop him.
Even at Park City schools the fear is being felt with students of parents who may be undocumented.
Rebeca Gonzalez works in a program where she comes in contact with these students.

"I could see their emotions were different," she said. "They had a lot of questions.  They expressed to me they were fearful of what to come of their parents."

In all, there were four arrested last week in Park City. 

Another man who wants to remain anonymous said he too was suddenly pulled over by an ICE agent.

He said they followed him to his home while he retrieved his documentation.  But he said he was in the U.S. illegally.  At his home, he said they learned his identity and let him go because he did not have any criminal record.
But he said his cousin was taken into custody because he was illegal and had a criminal past.

"He said they had to take him for processing," said the man.  "He had a DUI eight years ago.   But they didn't do anything to me because i didn't have a criminal record."

Gonzalez is concerned people are being watched, followed and pulled over for no reason.  She said that's the panic Latinos in Park City are feeling right now.  She is organizing a community forum Thursday night.  She's invited city leaders, law enforcement and the Latino community.
It will be held Thursday at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Snyderville. at 6 p.m.

For more information on deportable offenses by Immigration, Customs and Enforcement, this link offers some information.

The Park City Police chief also posted a statement both in Spanish and English on its Facebook.


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