Immigration law firm speaks on Fort Pierce raid

Posted at 10:53 PM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 06:35:39-04

The investigation continues into the immigration investigation at a Fort Pierce business.

On Wednesday, U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were looking for workers who may be in the country illegally.

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On Thursday, we talked with an immigration attorney representing one of those who were taken away.

"This was something unexpected," said Laura Carrion, a paralegal who works for the Gloria Roa Bodin Immigration Law Firm in Fort Pierce.

Her office represents a woman who was among the 28 taken away during the raid at Tentlogix on Wednesday morning.

"We were heartbroken because this lady has four U.S. citizen children. Her husband just became a U.S. citizen," said Carrion. "Her husband came in yesterday and said, 'Please help me. I'm willing to pay anything because my children are crying right now.'"

That client was cleared and released on Thursday morning.

"She has no criminal records. She's been here for almost 15 years," said Carrion.

The woman is also still in the process of trying to become a U.S. citizen. 

"Her husband is a U.S. citizen. She has four kids here. She can prove that she's been a good person a working person for 14 years. And she has good chances to become a legal resident here."

Carrion said as far as her office knows of the investigation, I.C.E. originally had a warrant to enter Tentlogix to look for one person. However, the law allows federal agents to ask for documentation of the other employees.

"Once they were inside the business, they had the right to check on everybody else," she said. "They went for one person and ended up detaining almost 30 people."

The law firm is advising their clients to make copies of their documents.

"Please keep a copy of a form called G-28. It tells immigration that you have a lawyer that's representing you," she said. "We also advise them to give copies of those documents to their wives, or friend or family."

Carrion also said that every immigrant has a right to communicate with their consulate or embassy to notify of any detainment. Clients are also told to remain calm and not give any false documents or information.

"You have a right to an attorney and a right to remain silent," she said.

I.C.E. is still not releasing any more information on the case and could only tell WPTV that the criminal investigation continues.

The company has still not returned requests for comment.