At least two Rhode Island residents have been detained by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and await deportation under President Donald Trump‘s “Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”
This order changed the Obama era policies on deportation. Under President Barrack Obama ICE would only detain undocumented immigrants facing charges of moral turpitude, aggravated assault and drug crimes. The new policy put into effect by Trump’s executive order means even minor crimes can result in an undocumented person being detained and deported.
Details are still coming to light, and so far ICE has declined to reply to a request for a comment.
According to sources familiar with the incident, José Eduardo Cames (the third part of his name may be misspelled) lied to immigration officials at the border when he and his wife entered the country. They carried a baby with them that was not theirs, loaned to them from another family, to make a better case for themselves to stay in the United States.
An investigation revealed the lie, but under Obama, that did not make the couple a high priority for deportation and as long as they made periodic visits to an ICE office in Warwick, they were allowed to stay in the country. At their most recent visit to the Warwick ICE offices on Friday, ICE did not let them leave and detained them, said a source familiar with the case. It is believed that they are currently being held at the Bristol County Jail in North Dartmouth Massachusetts.
Attempting to contact ICE by phone, I was directed to send my inquiry by email. I pointed out that the ICE website says that inquiries can be made by phone or email. This was incorrect. ICE only responds to email inquiries. I called the ICE office in Boston, and was directed to call a number in Providence. A female ICE agent was very angry that I got her number, and directed me back to the phone number on the ICE website.
In other words, “no comment.”
This story will be updated as more information comes to light.