Immigration and Customs Enforcement picked up six undocumented immigrants in east Charlotte Tuesday morning, including three that had prior convictions for driving while intoxicated.
The arrests occurred at 7:30 a.m. the Country Club Apartments off Eastway Drive in east Charlotte.
An ICE spokesman confirmed the arrests to the Observer Tuesday afternoon, noting agents arrested three convicted criminals with prior DUI convictions at the site, and while there, picked up three additional undocumented immigrants. It was unclear if the second group had also been convicted of crimes, other than being illegally in the country.
“Every day, as part of routine targeted enforcement operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Fugitive Operations teams arrest criminal aliens and other individuals who are in violation of our nation’s immigration laws,” said a statement from ICE spokesman Bryan Cox.
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The Spanish language news paper Que Pasa Mi Gente was alerted to the arrests Tuesday by people living in the Country Club Apartments.
“I was going to take my children to school, when I saw four men dressed in green vests that said ICE come out of a van,” one witness reportedly told the newspaper. “They approached a car, I think it was a white Honda, and they talked to a boy, whom they arrested...Then they knocked on an apartment and opened the door, and there they took four boys.”
News of the arrests comes a week after social media reports created a panic among Charlotte immigrants, who believed ICE was conducting large scale raids and road blocks. ICE denied the raids or road blocks occurred. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have also denied any roadblocks were used within the city for immigrant arrests.
ICE agents have arrested at least 21 undocumented immigrants this month in Charlotte, all of them individuals who were specifically targeted because they had criminal backgrounds, including people who had been previously deported.
Among those picked up in the Charlotte-area was an immigrant convicted on three counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. That person had previously been removed to Mexico before re-crossing the border.
Charlotte’s immigrant community has been on edge since the election of President Donald Trump, who has vowed to adhere more strictly to laws against people living illegally in the country. Experts say as many as 54,000 people in the Charlotte area are living here illegally.