Immigration Enforcement Efforts Reported In Ypsilanti

Feb 23, 2017

Amanda Edmonds, Mayor of Ypsilanti

Residents and city officials are on alert in Ypsilanti. Today, Ypsilanti's expanded human rights ordinance takes effect. Among other things, it offers more protections to undocumented immigrants. Meantime, several residents have reached out to city officials, and WEMU, reporting sightings of federal immigration enforcement officials working in the area.  CLICK THROUGH FOR UPDATE:


UPDATE:  The U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued the following statement to WEMU: "ICE Enforcement and Removal (ERO) officers conducted targeted enforcement actions in the area of Ypsilanti on Wed. morning, Feb. 23.  During the course of action, ERO officers encountered multiple persons who were illegally in the United States.  Four individuals were taken into custody and are currently being detained."

A number of residents in Ypsilanti say they have seen the black government vehicles conducting traffic stops and working in area neighborhoods. They, reportedly are wearing the tell-tale "ICE " jackets. "ICE" is an acronym used by the U. S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Ypsilanti Mayor Amanda Edmonds says federal agencies dealing with immigration issues do not reach out to local law enforcement officials when working in a given community. She says she has no official information that undocumented immigrants are being targeted in her city, but that there are enough eyewitness reports to be of concern. 

WEMU reached out to ICE and inquired as to whether enforcement actions were underway in Washtenaw County. The short response came in the form of an e-mail from Khaalid H. Walls.

"ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending deportable foreign nationals. All enforcement activities are conducted with the same level of professionalism and respect that ICE officers exhibit every day. The focus of these targeted enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis. ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven. ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately. ICE will not speculate on future operational activities." 

Stay tuned to 89.1 WEMU for the latest on this developing story. 

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu