ICE raids have local immigrants on edge, including those here lawfully

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- The ICE raids in Mississippi are putting immigrants in Omaha on edge, including those who are here lawfully.

Photo Source: Charles Reed / ICE / MGN

Douglas Garcia Lopez is 6-years-old. His family immigrated from El Salvador. He thinks the children who were taken from their families in Mississippi are feeling sad. 6 News asked him how he feels.

“Scared and afraid,” Douglas said.

Those two words sum up the general feeling among the local immigrant community, according to Alexis Steele, an attorney at the Immigrant Legal Center.

“I know children definitely fear being separated from their parents, being in a situation where they don’t know if they will see them again,” Steele said.

She noted what happened in Mississippi sent a message, that raids could happen anytime, anywhere. That leaves even immigrants who are in the United States legally in fear of getting swept up.

“There’s a lot of justified fear that comes from seeing what was warned and then what happened,” Steele said. “And taking that logical next step and seeing that mean this could play out where I live.”

President Trump said last Friday, the raids are intended to send a clear message.

"I want people to know that if they come into the United States illegally they're getting out,” Trump said. “They're going to be brought out and this serves as a very good deterrent.”

It’s a message that's scaring people, according to employees at the Heartland Workers Center in South Omaha. One worker said she's having a hard time getting people out to a park clean-up because they're afraid a large group of immigrants might be a target.

Attorneys at the Immigration Legal Center want people to know it's safe to reach out to them to learn about their rights and any other matters.