Communities gather in Collier ahead of immigration roundups
Communities in Collier County gathered ahead of announced immigration roundups by federal agents nationwide.
The conditions in detention centers prompted protest across the country Friday night.
Many people stress those being taken to facilities like the Homestead detention center are human and going through trauma they will never forget.
“They contribute to the community in more ways than just getting the work done,” said. “They pay Social Security. Their children go to school here. Many of their children have grown up here.”
ICE agents are set to raid nine cities in the country.
“What is happening at these detention facilities; no, they are not nice places,” said Cyndy Nayer, who is working with the ACLU against federal action. “No, they are not better than anything else people have seen because the lasting affects will cause ripples for years to come.”
Fritz Roka, director of agribusiness at Florida Gulf Coast University, said the people being targeted help put food on tables for all.
“It’s roughly a $1 billion industry,” Roka said. “Just the value of products coming out the farms 80% of that is from fruits and vegetables. Again, all picked by human hands”
But Christine Inzerillo said migrants should come here legally. And if they don’t, this is the reality they face.
“I definitely feel more comfortable that that those who aren’t supposed to be doing what they’re doing and that people are taking care of it,” Inzerillo said.
The Trump administration said the raids are warning to keep families from approaching the U.S. southern border with Mexico.
Neighbors say ICE agents knocking on doors in Immokalee
Fear is developing within communities of Collier County, as neighbors say U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents knocked on doors Friday morning in search of undocumented immigrants in Immokalee.
ICE officials could not confirm their agents’ locations for safety reasons, but people described to us what they saw and heard.
“I saw on social media and the news that they were going to come Sunday,” Diaz said. “So when they got here, we didn’t expect it. We were real scared.”
Diaz, who asked us not to reveal his full name, said ICE agents knocked on his door Friday, as he was getting ready for work. The agents weren’t looking for him, but someone he said does not live at his home. And it wasn’t the first time.
“They were saying open the door,” Diaz said. “We stayed quiet. They were here for like 10 minutes and left. Last week they were here at like five in the morning, and they surrounded the house. And they did the same thing they were knocking on the doors and windows.”
Neighbors told us everyone is on edge — not knowing if ICE is coming for someone they know and love.
“My son, the oldest one, went to work; then, he text me, ‘Dad, immigration just came to Immokalee,” said Rumaldo Garcia from Guatemala. “He told me, ‘Be careful; don’t go out, and I was scared.’ I felt like I couldn’t even go to the store.”
We reached out to ICE, and a spokesperson told us the federal agency prioritizes the arrest and removal of people who threaten border security.
“We just continue forward, but really we just pray to God,” Diaz said. “Because we’re not criminals. We’re not delinquents. We don’t do anything. We just came to find a better life with our family.”
How ICE roundups work
With President Donald Trump’s announcement of upcoming immigration raids Sunday and neighbors in Southwest Florida telling us they have already started, Safety & Security Specialist Rich Kolko shares just how the federal agency will go about them.
WATCH in the video above for the full report.