NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Federal immigration officers have been conducting raids in the Pioneer Valley. ICE agents arrested five people in western Massachusetts this week.
This, since undocumented immigrant, Lucio Perez, took sanctuary in an Amherst church last month.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested three immigrants in Hatfield Monday, as they were driving home to Springfield from their jobs at a local farm.
In a statement to 22News, ICE said all three men arrested during that traffic stop in Hatfield, were illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds.
“On Nov. 7, ICE deportation officers arrested three individuals during a targeted vehicle stop in Hatfield, Massachusetts,” ICE Public Affairs Officer Shawn Neudauer said in the statement. “The subject of the targeted encounter was Rudimel Esteban-Cash, an illegally present Guatemalan citizen and registered owner/operator of the vehicle, who has been previously removed from the United States on two prior occasions, in 2007 and 2009. Esteban-Cash’s criminal history includes a guilty plea for battery, and additional misdemeanor convictions, including DUI. He will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the U.S.”
“Two other individuals were arrested during this encounter,” Neudauer added. “They included: Edgar Lopez, (aka Edgar Lopez-Ramirez, Oliver Martinez) who is an illegally present citizen of Guatemala. Lopez has prior convictions in Massachusetts for assault and battery of a police officer and DUI. He also has an active state arrest warrant in Connecticut for DUI. Gustavo Adolfo Gonzalez-Velasquez, an illegally present citizen of Guatemala, who has prior misdemeanor convictions. Lopez and Gonzalez -Velasquez will remain in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings.”
Rose Bookbinder-Goldstein told 22News the recent raids may be retaliation.
“One of our other leaders Lucio Perez opted to take sanctuary in an Amherst church and so it’s hard to not believe that there could be some retaliation happening right now,” Goldstein said.
ICE arrested two immigrants in a raid at a Holyoke factory.
Goldstein said all five detainees have met with ACLU lawyers and should be eligible for a hearing next week.
The Pioneer Valley Workers Centers told 22News, ICE has arrested more than 27 people in western Massachusetts this month.