ICE detains local man at carnival
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO, Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – A team of agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reportedly swept through a corner of the Strawberry Days festivities on Saturday, rounding up two or possibly three suspects.
According to Glenwood Springs attorney Karen McCarthy, the ICE agents picked up at least two people, including Julio Alvarez, 30, and his brother, Cesar Alvarez, 33, at the carnival in West Glenwood.
According to the wife of Julio Alvarez, Lorenza Alvarez, who is seven months’ pregnant, the agents released her brother-in-law, Cesar Alvarez, because he is a single father of twin 11-year-old girls.
“Sometimes they do that if it’s a single parent and there are children there,” confirmed McCarthy.
Julio, who is stepfather to two young children, was detained and is “likely to be deported” back to Mexico, his home country, McCarthy said.
She said she and her law partner, Tedd Hess, will try to get Julio released, in part because of what McCarthy said is an ICE policy against seizing adults when their children are nearby.
A call to the local ICE office in Glenwood Springs went unanswered on Monday.
Carl Rusnok, an ICE spokesman in Dallas, said he could not confirm the arrests, but confirmed that ICE is “conducting an operation in western Colorado.”
He said more information may become available once the operation is complete.
McCarthy, who often works on immigration issues, said she has heard that the agents arrested at least three people, and that agents were spotted chasing one man through the carnival area on Saturday.
Lorenza Alvarez, who said she witnessed the ICE agents take her husband and his brother, said the three were standing in the carnival grounds when they were approached.
“We weren’t doing anything wrong. We were waiting for the kids to get off the rides,” said Alvarez, who said she was born in Aspen.
She said two Garfield County deputies walked up, took Julio and Cesar by the arm, and lead them away behind the funhouse.
“Immigration was waiting there for them,” she said. “They said they singled them out because of the way they were dressed.”
She said Julio was wearing a sports jersey.
“He loves jerseys,” she explained. “He has a jersey for every sports team.”
McCarthy, explaining what her office might do with this case, said that “these men were stopped just for looking suspicious. We think there’s some racial indications to that.”
She added that she was told the ICE agents maintained that they were looking for men who were involved in a brawl Friday night in Glenwood Springs.
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.