She'd been watching Facebook Live updates all day, people posting about their families. She knew that a lot of people had gone to where the arrested people were being held, in a big armory outside of town. All day, their mom had been too afraid to head down there, afraid to get so close to ICE.
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She's undocumented too. If she were taken, her kids would be completely on their own. But after seeing so many people there all day, including some people that she knew didn't have papers, she decided to risk it. Her husband's diabetic and he needed his medication. I got up and I went. She brought one of her older sons with her, her 13 year old. He's a citizen. And she left her younger two kids at home.
She told Manny to take care of his little brother until they got back. As she left, she did the thing that lots of moms do to distract their kids in an emergency. So, first we do living room, like sweep, clean what's on floor. Then we do the dishes, put them back where they are.
And then, dining room, clean the table, clean the chairs. But it was usually quiet. We never liked talked on that day. We didn't talk the whole time we were cleaning.
And after we were done cleaning, which was nighttime, I got something to eat. Manny made Eric dinner, a pop tart and milk and put on cartoons for him, Teen Titans Go. He sat next to him while he watched. Manny, himself, was glued to his phone, watching all the Facebook updates and Snapchatting with friends, trying to find news. Around , they got a call from their mom. She told them to go to bed. They had school tomorrow. She said they'd be home soon. But neither of the boys could sleep. I was feeling sad that-- that-- oh, he's not actually coming back.
But then, every time my mom always said, he's coming back, he's coming back. Did you not believe that he would come back that night? Or were you worried that he wouldn't? I was pretty scared, cause-- I was scared it was going to be me and him all by ourselves. And they would be gone. And we'd be just me and him.
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Just I was thinking all of that in my mind. Cause I have to take care of him. I have to cook him food and I have to like, you know, take responsibility and take care of him. I mean, I'm 12, so, I'm pretty-- I already know everything about him, and what he likes, and everything.
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So, I think I'll be pretty good in taking care of him. Eventually, their mom came home. Their dad didn't. At that night, he was one of 54 people that ICE sent to detention in Alabama. A teacher who'd gone to the armory that day to be with his students and try to help, he told me that seeing these white buses line up and file out in the dark, no goodbyes, no information, it felt like something out of the X Files. Of the 97 undocumented workers picked up that morning, ICE let 32 people go, one by one, over the course of the day. ICE had put them into deportation proceedings, but said they could wait for their court dates at home.
It was strange, who got released and who didn't. They released mostly women, some single mothers, but not all of them.
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They released some people with chronic illnesses, but not all of them. There were a few couples who worked together at the plant, couples with kids, both parents detained. In cases like that, someone told me that ICE told them to choose-- said, we'll let one of you go home, choose who. People always chose the mom. I talked to the special agent in charge of the Morristown operation.
He told me ICE has a policy to not leave kids with no parent or caretaker. So when two parents are detained, they might release one. It's at the officer's discretion. Morristown is small enough, under 30, people, that nobody in town could avoid what happened. Everyone saw the helicopters.
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Lots of people knew someone who'd been picked up or knew their kids or other relatives. When dozens of officers come storming into a small town, rounding up a hundred people, it's the kind of thing where people spill out of their houses and watch. Krista Etter lives up the hill from the plant. She had been scared that there was some criminal on the loose. She called her daughter, who was at home, and told her to lock the doors. When Krista heard it was a raid at the slaughterhouse, she hiked across the field by her house to go see.
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She saw the ICE trailer, officers cordoning off the entrance to the plant. Krista's a Trump supporter. She's not a fan of illegal immigration. Most of the area is that way. She didn't know anyone who'd been directly affected. Over the weekend, she went to a vigil for the parents who'd been taken away, not because she wanted to.
She didn't. She's the general manager for a local paper. And they asked her to take pictures. She says that when she showed up, she was actually a little angry that all these people were there at all, like what do they expect? These people broke the law. They should have seen it coming.
I thought this possibly was a good thing, that ICE was cracking down on immigration. They're here illegally. They need to go home.
gatsby-estates.co.uk/bride-of-the-reaper.php There was a young man. He was a teenager, 14, 15 years old, that said, he just wanted his mom to come home.
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