Five Guatemalan citizens were arrested on July 9 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents near Hermiston.

Mateo Demateo-Baltazar and Rolando Pablo-Calmo are facing pending immigration proceedings.

Higinio Pablo-Calmo, Teodoro Pablo-Ramos and Mario Lorenzo-Pablo are facing pending removal from the United States.

Tanya Roman, a public affairs officer for ICE in Seattle, said last week she is still working to confirm if all five people are still in custody.

According to Roman, they all have prior criminal records.

The ICE Online Detainee Locator System lists Demateo-Baltazar and Pablo-Ramos as still in custody at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington.

According to the city of Tacoma, the center is the fourth largest in the nation, with a capacity of 1,575 detainees.

Roman said the arrests were in “no way associated with any anticipated nationwide targeted enforcement actions.”

Roman stated the arrests were, instead, part of a targeted enforcement action.

On July 12 — after the arrests near Hermiston — President Donald Trump reported that ICE was planning raids across the country to arrest thousands of undocumented immigrants, starting July 14.

Meanwhile, some local residents are still on high alert following the arrests and multiple ICE sightings in the Hermiston area.

Jesse Roa, who works with the Tri-Cities Immigrant Rights Coalition, said a sighting reported at the Hermiston Wal-Mart was reported by volunteers specialized in spotting ICE officers.

He said there were also sightings in the Irrigon area.

Roa said that some people were using vacation time to avoid going out during the sightings, and others were leaving the area.

“(This) is tearing the community in half and adding a lot of fear. Not only for migrant families, but for people who are friends or relatives to families,” Roa said.

“I think this community is really resilient. I’m pretty sure the community is going to come together to help each other.”

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.