ICE detains 12 people in Batesville while assisting a DEA drug operation
Tuesday ended in the arrest of 12 suspected illegal immigrants in Batesville. DEA, ICE, and other federal and state agencies took part in that raid, and it has sent ripples through the immigrant community.
Mi Pueblito would normally be bustling with a dinner rush, not today. Doors were locked with a note citing plumbing issues. But it's all a front with the news of an ICE raid in Batesville Tuesday still lingering. "Part of our customers, they're Hispanic. We didn't have any of the business yesterday, not even today. That's the reason why we closed both of the locations," said owner of Mi Pueblito, Alejandra Jasso.
They weren't the only ones to lock their doors. We tried two other Hispanic restaurants in town, and they were closed as well. Alejanda added, "We're still hearing rumors, that immigration is still here or they left. The Hispanics are completely panicked. We are very scared."
According to the Independence County Sheriff's Department, ICE has already left town. But regardless, many Hispanics working and living in Batesville are still fearful. "They started getting upset, they wanted to leave. They have their families. They are concerned because even if you have a workers permit, they won't respect it," said Alejandra.
An ice spokesperson told KATV they were assisting the DEA in a drug operation, although we do not know the entire scope of the investigation. Alejandea said, "We hope that's what they did. They came and got the bad people but not the good ones that come to work every day." And as for Mi Pueblito, Alejandra tells me they hope the panic will subside and will be able to re-open tomorrow.
The Batesville Police Department and the U.S. Marshall's Office were also involved in that raid.