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ICE releases statement about arrest at Hidalgo County Courthouse

3 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Thursday, January 30 2020 Jan 30, 2020 January 30, 2020 1:25 PM January 30, 2020 in News

UPDATE:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement about the arrest on Thursday afternoon:

"On Jan. 30, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers arrested Erika Gonzalez Zuniga, 42, a citizen of Mexico who is illegally present in the United States. The enforcement action took place at the Hidalgo County Courthouse, Edinburg, Texas. Zuniga has multiple convictions for theft between 2003 and 2010. She was issued a final order of removal by a federal immigration judge on January 4, 2005, and has multiple illegal entries into the United States.  She was taken into ICE custody where she remains pending immigration proceedings.

"Under ICE policy, courthouses are not considered sensitive locations. In such instances where officers seek to conduct an arrest at a courthouse, every effort is made to take the person into custody in a secure area, out of public view, for the safety of those involved."

Original Story: Under ICE policy, courthouses are not considered sensitive locations. In such instances where officers seek to conduct an arrest at a courthouse, every effort is made to take the person into custody in a secure area, out of public view, for the safety of those involved.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained a woman in the vicinity of the Hidalgo County Courthouse on Thursday, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

ICE detained the mother of Orlando Rodriguez — the man convicted of killing a Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office communications officer — after he appeared in the 275th state district court for sentencing.

"From what I'm understanding from everyone who was there, it was major chaos," said attorney Rick Salinas of Mission.

Salinas said he's concerned the incident will interfere with the ability of prosecutors and defense attorneys to convince people who aren't legally present in the United States to appear in court.

"It's already having a chilling effect on witnesses, on victims, on complainants," Salinas said.

Details about what happened, including the woman's name; where, exactly, she was detained; and the reason for her detention weren't immediately clear.

Both sources confirmed that ICE was at the courthouse Thursday and detained Rodriguez’s mother. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue and because ICE hasn’t released a formal statement about what happened.

An ICE spokeswoman couldn’t immediately provide details about the incident Thursday afternoon and said she would look into it.

Check back for updates.

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