Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ICE Agents Lure Undocumented Immigrant Out of a Church Using Fake Text Messages

By Jack Jenkins and Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, ThinkProgress
February 17, 2016

An undocumented immigrant was reportedly lured out of a church with fake text messages before being apprehended by federal agents last month, an unsettling incident that is raising questions about the often manipulative tactics used by immigration officials.

“This incident can only undermine local efforts to build trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities, and make immigrants concerned about going not only to church but also schools, hospitals, and other public places where they might now fear arrest,” Fred Tsao, Senior Policy Counsel at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, told ThinkProgress.

According to Chicago radio station WBEZ, Reynold Garcia, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, entered the Christian Pentecostal Center in Schaumburg, Illinois one morning in early January. He and several others had gathered at the house of worship to pray for comfort, as agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had raided Garcia’s house the day before while he was away, taking his wife and two children with them.

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