By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell says many people live in fear, fear of contracting COVID and getting sick, while others are afraid of violence associated with protests.
This week in Bend another kind of fear was brought to the community’s awareness: Fear of being detained, separated from family and deported for not having legal immigration status.
Wednesday’s protest concerned the detention of two local men by U.S. Immigrations, Customs & Enforcement.
“They came into our community. They came in huge, unmarked buses, snatched people off the street,” Campbell said. “One gentleman I understand was at the gas station on his way to work. The other was on his way home from work. Snatched up these two gentlemen and detained them.”
“The treatment of being detained without questions or rights, being deprived of food and water, refusal of wellness checks, it is an injustice,” said Janet Llerandi Gonzalez.
Homeland Security said the two individuals arrested, Marco Zeferino Rios and Josue Arturo Cruz Sanchez, have criminal records that include convictions for assault, harassment, coercion and criminal trespassing in addition to immigration violations.
Oregon court records show those charges are primarily tied to Sanchez.
Rios’s only Deschutes County record includes an attempt to commit at Class B Misdemeanor, which one attorney tells us in not even classified as a crime.
On our Facebook page, some have supported the arrests.
Kimberlee wrote, “Documented or undocumented, violent crime is intolerable.”
Russell said, “Thank you ICE.”
And Kim said, “They should be held accountable for crimes… and once they complete time served here, deported again.”
Janet Llerandi Gonzalez of MECCA Bend, an assistance program for the Latino community, served as spokeswoman for families of the detainees during the protest.
“These families are going to suffer unimaginable financial ramifications for what is being done to those families’ primary breadwinners,” she said.
Central Oregon Daily News spoke with a local restaurant owner who knows Marco Rios detained by ICE.
He said Rios worked two jobs in two different restaurants from 6 in the morning until 10 o’clock at night.