ICE protest meets opposition - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

ICE protest meets opposition

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- Students and families of those arrested in last week's raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents held their ground again, Wednesday.

The group stood in front of the Yakima Federal courthouse, protesting how the raids were handled by ICE.

Regional Director for United Farm Workers, Job Pozos-Avila, "I think people have got to understand that, what these raids do first of all. How traumatizing they are," and continued by saying, "If they need to enforce our laws, then we have got to find a more humane way to do it."

Pozos-Avila went on to explain how the community needs to send a strong message to their politicians. "Saying 'Hey' You know, when you guys are asking for our votes, you know, we're going to remember this."

According to ICE, 13 people were charged with criminal offenses, ranging from visa and government identity fraud to re-entering the country after deportation. Of those, 3 were received additional charges of making false claims to having U.S. Citizenship.

Members from the Tea Party Patriots, Grassroots of Yakima Valley, and Washingtonians for Immigration Reform also gathered in front of the courthouse in opposition of the student led protests.

Grassroots of Yakima Valley leader Bob West, says his group supports ICE's decision on the raid.

"It's unfortunate that people get caught up in this, but if they didn't come in here illegally in the first place, they're the ones, their parents are the ones that placed their kids in jeopardy," West said.

Eisenhower High School student Vanessa Navarro, 15, says she's worried about some of her family members in Yakima, who could face deportation.

"I have a friend also, who found out about this and he's so afraid, he's hiding out. And we haven't seen him for awhile," Navarro said.

West says his group isn't focusing on any particular race, but more so on who's obeying the law. "We don't care which country people are from, what's their origin, whatever. We just want them if they come here, they come legally," West added.

There were no reports by police of any disturbances or arrests made, during Wednesday's demonstration.

Pozos-Avila and his group will continue holding protests in support of the families affected by the immigration raids. He says they plan to hold a vigil next month in Ellensburg.

16 additional people were accused of administrative immigration violations, according to ICE.

KNDO made calls to ICE Wednesday afternoon, but they declined to comment.

Meantime, ICE continues to stand by their previous statement, where children whose parents were arrested in the raid were not left alone. The kids were either sent with a family member or their case was being handled by Child Protective Services.

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