The weekend raids in Phoenix netted several hundred illegal immigrants, though most of them are being released, according to local news reports that said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency responsible for interior enforcement, was targeting the car wash owners.
Still, the roundup angered advocates.
“If this isn’t an immigration raid, what is it?” said Nataly Cruz an organizer with Puente Arizona, who said the illegal immigrants should be treated as witnesses to the business owners’ crimes, not as criminals themselves.
“ICE operations terrorize our entire community. And despite what they say, there are children who went to sleep without their parents last night and woke up this morning not knowing if they’d see them again,” she said.