HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Since Saturday, nearly 30 people have been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, or ICE. The arrests have been made in several cities across North Alabama, including Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, Hartselle and more.
The undocumented immigrants who are detained are taken to a Dekalb County facility before being transported to Louisiana, according to immigration advocates with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ).
"ICE has been going around terrorizing our community, not just in Huntsville but in Decatur, Hartselle and communities around,” said Sarita Portilla, Executive Director for the ACIJ.
Several pictures were captured during these arrests outside of Ross in Decatur and along Drake Avenue & Triana Boulevard in Huntsville. ICE officials say all of these arrests weren’t made at one time.
The ACIJ took to Facebook Wednesday to talk about the changes made with the way ICE officials detain individuals.
"If you look immigrant or the police feel like you are an immigrant, they are just sweeping by the neighborhoods and trying to take with them whatever they can,” said Portilla.
The ACIJ claims some that were arrested had no criminal background and were taken in random places. ICE, on the other hand, says 90 percent of those arrested either had criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, or were subject to a removal order by a federal judge.
"That's the message that they want to put out there, right? Because, I guess, they are receiving a lot of calls asking why they are doing this to our community, but that's just an excuse to tell you the truth,” said Portilla.
Rumors swirl that there has been an uptick and ICE is randomly targeting individuals; something ICE leaders say is categorically incorrect.