ICE Raids Strawberry Fair Near Aspen; Children Cry During Fathers Day Event
The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division office on Colorado’s Western slope has always been aggressive. However, the 2011 father’s day immigration raid conducted in the middle of the crowded Strawberry Days Festival at Glenwood Springs, in front of thousands of citizens and children, reveals an arrogant agency willing to put anyone at risk to win headlines.
From Alan Kaplan Article
According to Brendan Greene, the Western Slope Coordinator for the Colorado Immigrants Right’s Coalition(CIRC), the pre-planned raid went down on the crowded fair grounds. With news spreading about the raid, some immigrants panicked and ran, with agents in hot pursuit. At least one person was tackled and arrested in front of shocked parents and children, the immigrant roughly treated, and hauled to a waiting ICE RV-Command Post. Staging an immigration raid at a crowded fair frequented by the Latino community is like yelling fire in a crowded theater, except ICE took this reckless action on father's day, when toddlers were sure to be present and at risk.
ICE did not act alone in placing the public at peril. The Garfield County Sheriff's Office worked in tandem with ICE. In one case, according to an article written by CIRC attorney Alan Kaplan, two Garfield County Sheriff’s officers approached the Alvarez family waiting for their children to emerge from the Bouncy Castle Ride. Before the children could get off the ride, the officers led brothers Cesar and Julio Alvarez behind the Bouncy Castle for interrogation by under-cover ICE officials. Once off of the ride, the 4 Alvarez children were forced to wait with an aunt and mother anxiously wondering what would happen to their daddy on Father’s day.
Strawberry Days Festival Promo
When the brothers did not come back from behind the Bouncy Castle ride, Julio’s wife, Lorenza Alvarez, 7-months pregnant, and a US born citizen, came looking. Despite the advanced pregnancy, she was treated “poorly”. After explaining Cesar was the only caretaker of 11 year old twins, he was released. Julio's children were not going to spend the rest of the day with their father, ICE refused to release him. Mrs. Alvarez was so distraught she was transported to Valley View Hospital for emergency care.Continued on the next page