By TED TAYLOR and MATT McDONALD
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
A federal judge on Thursday denied a temporary restraining order that sought to keep the two men detained by ICE in Bend on Wednesday in the state of Oregon.
The Innovation Law Lab, a non-profit legal service in Portland, filed the temporary restraining order – arguing they were denied access to their clients during the standoff between protesters and federal agents in Bend.
After hearing arguments from attorneys for both the Innovation Law Lab and the Department of Homeland Security, Judge Karin J. Immergut denied the motion.
Immergut ruled the Innovation Law Lab failed to prove they had both standing in the case and that the men arrested had suffered irreparable harm.
However, Immergut did not dismiss the complaint outright.
She set a hearing for September 3rd for both sides to make further arguments. She also asked DHS attorneys for assurance the men would not be deported prior to the hearing.
An attorney for DHS said the men have likely already been transferred to the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, after a stop at a detention center in the Dalles.
Family and friends have identified the men as Marco Zeferino and Josue Arturo Cruz Sanchez. In court, they were only referred to by their initials – which did align with the names provided by family and friends.
The men were arrested by ICE agents Wednesday morning on their way to work.
Hundreds of protesters learned of their arrest and blocked the ICE transport buses from leaving the area.
A 10-hour standoff ended around 11:15 p.m. when federal agents with the U.S. Border Patrol arrived in riot gear, pushed their way through the crowd and stormed the buses removing the men inside.
Homeland Security issued a statement Thursday on the arrests.
“ICE continues to target public safety threats and immigration violators,” said Homeland Security Investigations Spokeswoman Tonya Roman. “The two individuals arrested by ICE have criminal records that include convictions for assault, harassment, coercion, and criminal trespassing.
“They are also repeat immigration violators who were previously encountered by U.S. immigration officials and granted voluntary return to their home countries.”
Bend city officials on Wednesday said the agents had warrants for the arrests, but it’s unclear what those warrants were for.
Erin Carter, an attorney with the Bend Immigration Group, said it doesn’t matter what the charges are.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has the authority to pick up non-citizens regardless of their criminal record.
“Many times it is a criminal record that prompts ice to take enforcement action against an individual,” she said. “Historically enforcement priorities by ICE were very clear under previous administrations.”
Oregon court records show Sanchez has a criminal record in Deschutes County dating back to 2015 for various offenses including speeding, driving while uninsured, and operating a vehicle without driving privileges.
In 2018 he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault (domestic violence) and felony coercion for injuring a woman and threatening more harm if she left him. He was sentenced to two years probation.
In February 2019 he pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal trespassing for unlawfully entering a residence.
In May 2019 he pleaded not guilty to fourth-degree assault charges stemming from an incident in November 2018; he’s scheduled for a jury trial in January.
Zeferino Rios admitted in 2019 to an attempt to commit a Class B misdemeanor – one attorney tells us that’s not even classified as a crime – in regard to a harassment claim.
Gofundme pages have been set up for the two men and their families, who Carter said have lived in Central Oregon for years.