ICE officers arrest 11 central Pa. restaurant workers in immigration raid

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GETTYSBURG, ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. — ICE reports that it targeted three central Pennsylvania restaurants in an immigration raid that leads to the arrest of 11 people this week.

Those 11 people are now being detained at the York County Prison Immigration facility.

ICE officials said “ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending deportable foreign nationals. All enforcement activities are conducted with the same level of professionalism and respect that ICE officers exhibit every day.”

However, it was anything but business as usual at Montezuma’s Mexican Restaurant along Route 30 in Gettysburg, after a visit from U.S. immigration officials caused the restaurant to temporarily shut its doors.

Immigration attorney Dan Pell said “if they go into a house now, and they find the person that they’re looking for, under Obama they would have probably just left with that person, probably. Now, they take whoever is there.”

Wednesday, May 9th, deportation officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement descended upon three restaurants in Franklin and Adams counties. ICE Officers attested 11 workers at Montezuma’s Restaurants I’m Gettysburg, Chambersburg, and Waynesboro.

“ICE deportation officers do not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately. ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy,” ICE officials said.

“Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think they’re taking anybody’s jobs,” Pell said.

“These folks are at the bottom tier, they come in, they’re looking for work, they want to support their family, their generally well behaved good folks, who do jobs that Americans don’t want to take,” Pell added.

The 11 detainees are being held at York County Prison. Pell explains that they are entitled to a hearing.

“Depending on the basis of why they’re being deported, sometimes they can stay, and sometimes they can’t,” Pell said.

It could be to their benefit if they’ve been in the country for more than ten years, or have no criminal record.

”If they have relatives, United States citizens who or lawful permanent resident relatives who are qualified, and who will suffer an extreme and exceptionally unusual hardship, then they may be able to stay,” Pell said.

Meanwhile, sone may ask why those who are undocumented don’t make the effort to become legalized citizens of the United States.

“There is no current easy way for that to happen. So millions of these people are basically living in the shadows,” Pell said.

“I’m not making the argument that there should be open borders, but I do think that the policies in the United States need to change,” spell added.

FOX 43 News reached out to the owner of Montezuma’s Mexican Restaurant for reaction, but hasn't heard back yet.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.