Immigration: Advocate decries Father's Day raid on Glenwood Springs' Strawberry Days fest

strawberry days train.jpg
Glenwood Springs' Strawberry Days festival has been an area staple for more than a century, and this year's edition featured train rides, a pirate-coloring contest, a pie-eating challenge and a search for a "Glenwood Idol," among many other scheduled events. But one happening wasn't announced in advance: a raid by representatives of the Garfield County Sheriff's department and the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office that ended with at least one man in custody.

"It was an amazing violation of ICE's own policies," argues Brendan Greene, Rocky Mountain region coordinator for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. "The policy says not to do operations in sensitive locations where families and children are present. And you can't get any more sensitive than a county fair. It's one of the biggest events of the year in communities all over the area."

Of course, the demographics of those towns could have made Strawberry Days an irresistible target to agencies looking for undocumented residents. "A lot of them are 40 percent Latino," Greene notes.

ICE continues to insist that it's targeting criminal aliens -- an emphasis of its announcement about the recent arrest of 2,400 illegal immigrants nationwide, including 78 in Colorado. But Greene sees the Strawberry Days action as contradicting that approach.

"It seemed more like a dragnet operation than targeting specific people who might have an outstanding record," he says.

glenwood springs strawberry days.jpg
A CIRC photo of dwindling crowds after Julio Alvarez was taken into custody.
By way of example, he tells the story of Cesar and Julio Alvarez. "Cesar has a completely spotless record, and he's been in this country for many years. He's a single father -- his wife passed away when his kids were young, and he and his brother, Julio, have been working together to raise the kids" -- four of them, including eleven-year-old twin daughters. "He's tremendously responsible, very involved in the local school, doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, and is very much about taking care of his kids on a daily basis."

On Father's Day, the kids were in the festival's bouncy castle when Cesar and Julio were approached by a pair of Garfield County deputies. "They claimed to be investigating a crime on Friday that doesn't show up in any police reports," Greene maintains. "And because of their trust in local cops, Cesar and Julio started answering questions. But when the deputies took them behind the fun house, there were two ICE agents -- so basically, they led them into a trap."

Both Cesar and Julio were questioned by the ICE reps at an RV parked at the back of the fair, with Julio -- who Greene says "definitely doesn't fit the bill of being a criminal" -- subsequently taken away for processing at a Glenwood Springs detention center.

Julio's wife Lorenza, who's seven-months pregnant, was so shocked by this turn of events that she had to be taken to an area hospital. Meanwhile, word of the illegal immigrant hunt quickly spread among festival attendees -- no surprise given the RV and "reports we heard about deputies chasing people through the crowd," Greene says. As a result, plenty of people fled from the event, seriously reducing the size of the throng.

Greene now wonders if Latinos will steer clear of other summer events in the area for fear of being profiled, hassled and potentially arrested whether they have serious marks on their record or not. In his words, "This has had a chilling effect on the entire community."

More from our Immigration archive: "Immigration: Fear and hope at forum prompted by raid at Morgan County's Wildcat Dairy."


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
Ticked at those playing Victim
Ticked at those playing Victim

P.S......    this wasn't , as written in the article, a County Fair. It was a traveling carnival that  set up in a parking lot at the mall, during a local historical festival which took place in another part of town. Of course, that also brought arrests of illegals, late night , due to fights and intoxication when bands tried to entertain residents who hoped to  celebrate this local 100+ yr event. Huge Diff between a Carnival out to earn bucks on rides and candy and a County Fair out to celebrate those who've created, grown or raised something.   

Ticked at those playing Victim
Ticked at those playing Victim

MountainGeezer, Mother and a few others should read the Garfield County Sherrif's record for facts. Our officers don't have time or energy to fake those facts. The  children of the 'caring' single father  weren't at the Fair with him... on Father's Day (hmmm) . David Centeno, a part of the group, has a long arrest record as well as having illegally returned 4+ times after deportation. All men agreed to meet w/and speak to officers. Then some began to flee and resist.  Most local legal residents are burned out by the onslaught, the mess, noise, trash, break-ins, drugs DUIs, and more, that ILLEGALS have spread through our community. What the He#@ is an 'overreach' on the part of ICE?? I don't want my 11 yr old to be "hangin' w/the bangin'" folks anywhere, much less a fair. Our parks aren't safe at night anymore. I now lock my doors. Our daughters can't safely walk alone in many areas. My resources are over drained by the abuse of our community resources by those who've not earned them.  As one who actually pays their paychecks, I appreciate the 'professionalism and  protection of the public" that Geezer thinks was not in affect.   In their attempts to be as PC as possible, our department racked up yet more hundreds of dollars staying calm and by the book, including sending a pregnant woman in this illegal group to the Hospital for a check-over because she was 'stressed'.  She returned to the fair to play some more. Picking better mates might alleviate stress.   Those who worry that children saw the arrests might want to get on board with rearing youth to regard legal,  community supportive  behavior. The above article uses inflmmatory language, like many of the pro-illegal groups do. No one was 'fleeing' the fair after this event. Those who chose to leave were those who felt they, too, might be busted as illegal  (as would be right) , those who no longer wished to be around the gang type, mouthy behavior that escalated after this,  or those who didn't want to stay out in the rains. Duh.  Our valley has been grabbed hostage by illegals with an entitled attitude. Our community embraces and supports legal residents from all origins. We're tired of being depleted by those who aren't . 

Mountaingeezerco
Mountaingeezerco

If these men had committed crimes against persons or property, why were they not arrested accordingly.  We would then have had two threats to society removed from our midst. The civil violation of illegal entry and residency is not the sort of circumstance that warrants a public bust at a local festival on Father's Day.  The collusion of the Garfield sheriff and ICE reeks of attitude and ignorance, not professionalism and protection of the public.

Dave Francis
Dave Francis

The ACLU American Civil liberties Union or better known asthe American Communist lawyers Union, as it was founded by a Communist, iscoming out its hole again. Perhaps someday it will be recognized asAnti-American and the likes of J. Edgar Hoovers phantasm, will dig them out oftheir pits and throw these illicit so-called Lawyers to the wolves. Theyredoubtably get their money bounty to torture States and cities from lobbyists,as well as silent handouts from the US Government, like a giant praying mantis,always looking for blood. First it joined up with the Liberal-democraticleaders to harass Arizona, but not satisfied with this purgatory, they are nowthreatening Georgia, Alabama.    The ACLU either intentionally areindifferent to the poverty in this country, that has built up even more fromthe decades of at least a trillion dollars, stolen from Americans to supportthe illegal immigrant invaders.

\Every day there is even more bloodshed bydrunken foreign drivers causing mayhem on the highways? The crime statisticsare not going down, from these people who have scorned the law and now we havethe good old ACLU, the religious activists led by the Vatican, the US Chamberof Commerce, as a driving force, that American sovereignty or the US Constitutionhas no meaning anymore. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LED BY THE LEFTIST HOLDER,NAPOLITANO IS ALL OPEN BORDER LEADERS. We have already seen the impact ofSanctuary States and cities, making American taxpayers to dig evendeeper into their pockets, to subsidize this occupation by nationals. TheCrime, the welfare and public services for illegal aliens are beginning tobleed from the edges as more States find the fiscal deficits rising. Whiledraining state treasuries, the further crippling of our economy is furtivelycompleted, by the rising exportation of 40 billion dollars goes to foreigncountries, from illegal alien wage packets. Indirectly its—YOUR—money they arespending.

This is revenue not being spent in the United States. California theLiberal fortress is struggling, along with Nevada and New York with roguegovernors who are going to soak the taxpayers even more, to pacify the 20million or more foreign nationals. But there is a limit to compassion, as manyUS citizens and legal households are folding under this continuous bombardmentof Federal, State saying give me more dollars. A new survey conducted byGallup finds that a plurality of Americans favors reducing overall immigrationlevels. The poll released earlier today reveals that 43% of Americans thingoverall immigration should be reduced while only 18% think overall immigrationlevels should be raised. Thirty-five percent of Americans feel that immigrationlevels should remain the same. The TEA PARTY is rising to "ThePeoples" call, to halt this monetary torment for good.

The midtermelection proved that the people are mad and sick of supporting illegal alienswho are flocking to this nation. The TEA PARTY is rising at a phenomenal rate,with thousands signing up at the national and local websites. We have seen theinability for the Obama's mob, to slide through executive orders not to deportcertain groups of people. We keep sending troops abroad, but the protection ofAmerica's people; specifically in Border States that remain unprotected. The TEAPARTY will exceed any previous administration in stopping the self-destructionof America’s society. The 1986 Simpson/ Mazzoli will be enforced and willimpose the mandated E-Verify, Secure Communities to the letter of the law. Muchharsher sanctions against incorrigible business that hire cheap labor will beseverely punished the border with military interdiction along with the borderagents.

All presidential hopefuls who fall below a B+ plus rating byNumbersUSA, will be ignored and fall out of favor along with the elected  carrion that run the cities and communitiesnationwide. Already D. Huntsman has been designated by NumbersUSA as a badcontender. The Tea Party is an open book of all races, which came to thiscountry through the front gates. ARE AMERICANS PREPARED TO HAVE THEIR SLIPPINGWAGES, BEING COMMANDEERED FOR YEARS TO COME, PAYING FOR PEOPLE WHO BROKE OURIMMIGRATION LAWS?

The 1986 Amnesty turned into an absolute travesty of ourlaws, with paramount fraud and millions not processed correctly. On Wednesday U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Harry Reid, D-Nev.,Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., John Kerry,D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., reintroduced a comprehensiveimmigration reform bill. The bill includes measures to strengthen bordersecurity, enhance worksite enforcement of immigration laws, and requirementsthat the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants present in the U.S.register with the government, pay taxes, learnEnglish, pay a fine, pass a background check, and wait in line for permanentresidence.

As far as I’m concerned, this will end upanother big payout slapped on taxpayers. Heritage Foundation has already statedthat taxpayers are looking at another mind boggling bill of $2.6 Trilliondollars. If you don’t believe it, then go and view the statistics in black andwhite at the heritage website. If you feel that another 20 million plus newcomersis alright on the US treasury accounting sheet, then will have even highertaxes slipping from our grasp. All its going to accomplish is millions moreforeigners encouraged by our open border politicians, to keep funneling in  a growing overpopulated America millions moreannual, that the politicians fail to tell us about?

BajaRat
BajaRat

Are the two scumbags in question here the same two scumbags mentioned on the Denver Channel's site? According to that report the two bad guys are gang-banging criminals who had been deported and who had snuck back into the country to cause more mayhem. Listen, all illegals are subject to deportation at any time. It's bad enough that more of them aren't deported, but whining about the arrest of criminal deportees who snuck back in might give you a clue as to why many Americans don't want any immigration from south of the border, legal or otherwise.

MotherofTwo
MotherofTwo

This is a disgusting overreach on the part of ICE. These sorts of scare tactics once again highlight the need for comprehensive immigration reform. As the parent of an eleven-year-old myself, this story is nightmare-inducing.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong take, Mountaingeezerco. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

Foralanrussell
Foralanrussell

we the white people born  here with dead in wwi and ww2 salute the people of Arizona  and New mexico  tell the drug cartels of your country to shove ir up your Chatholic Ass viva villa his dead ucking cacrcas

Ticked at those playing Victim
Ticked at those playing Victim

Why are you congratulating MtnGeezer. If you'd factchecked, you'd know these men had  arrest and deportation histories, If ICE  "overreached' as MotherofTwo claims, it was overeaching in letting him leave, because he was a 'single father' . Interestingly, the children of this single father weren't at the fair with him during this time, on Father's Day.  Check the Garfield County Sheriff records. 

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...