Poconos Coal

Immigration officials detain alleged undocumented immigrants in Poconos

PALMERTON, Pa. - One day after the Trump administration unveiled new immigration enforcement policies, police and federal agents were on the move in the Poconos.

An immigration attorney told 69 News that Immigration Customs Enforcement took 14 undocumented immigrants into custody from Carbon and Monroe counties today.

Palmerton Police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers went to two Palmerton pizza shops today looking for two men accused in a December 2016 sexual assault of an 18-year-old woman.

Police say Rafael Escobar Garcia and Jose Corripio Martinez were believed to be undocumented immigrants.

ICE has now put a detainer on the two men and their bails are set at $150 thousand.

ICE also ended up taking four others into custody today in Palmerton. One was ultimately released. The Palmerton police chief called them "collateral damage" of the sexual assault investigation. He said it was NOT an ICE raid.

"There are raids happening all over the place right now.  In Stroudsburg, Palmerton, throughout the LV.  Cars are getting pulled over," said Raymond Lahoud, an immigration attorney.

Lahoud tells 69 News he and other attorneys will be meeting with those three men in York to explain what is happening. He says they'll also be moving for bond.

Lahoud tells 69 News he's also representing a 34-year-old Nicaraguan man who was picked up by ICE agents in Stroudsburg today.

"No criminal record just a prior order of deportation, but no criminal record.  Had children, married.  US Citizen Children. US Citizen wife.  It's a mess right now," he said. "The environment has changed a lot in the last 24 hours with the implementation of the executive order. "

Lahoud says that once people are deported, that's basically it, there's no way getting them back in legally.

Lahoud calls it a mess, but in a statement to 69 News ICE said:

"ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending deportable foreign nationals. All enforcement activities are conducted with the same level of professionalism and respect that ICE officers exhibit every day. The focus of these targeted enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE's Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis."

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