MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Protesters gather in front of immigration office in Hendersonville

Protesters gathered Monday night in front an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in downtown Hendersonville in response to news of more arrests in North Carolina. Over the weekend, 16 people were arrested in Western North Carolina. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Protesters gathered Monday night in front an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in downtown Hendersonville in response to news of more arrests in North Carolina. Over the weekend, 16 people were arrested in Western North Carolina.

After the arrests in WNC, word spread of an ICE processing office off 6th Avenue and Justice Street near downtown Hendersonville. People familiar with the weekend roundups said those who were arrested were processed at the office building, which has no exterior signs or markers.

About 20 minutes after News 13 tried to confirm the site was an ICE office, Hendersonville police arrived and asked the crew to get off the road where a photographer was shooting video of the brown wood-sided building. In an off-camera discussion, agents confirmed it was an ICE office.

Large vans with dark, tinted windows were parked in back of the building. The lot was enclosed with secure entry and exit gates, including call cameras and security pads to call the building. A 20-foot steel fence with barbed-wire surrounds the back of the building.

An ICE spokesman said no arrestees were in the building Monday and would not confirm if any were processed and fingerprinted at the site over the weekend.

At 5 p.m. protesters began picketing outside the office. By 6 p.m., a Homeland Security SUV had parked on the property. The officer said he was called from Asheville following reports of the small protest outside what is federal property.

Immigration attorney George Pappas represents two brothers who were picked up during sweeps in Henderson County.

“My (original) client's brother was stopped at a checkpoint,” Pappas said.

The checkpoint, Pappas said, was near Flat Rock on Sunday. Pappas said an ICE officer assured his client he wouldn’t be arrested if he helped the officer locate his brother.

"He complied with the officer's request and took him home. Not only was his brother arrested, but he was arrested,” Pappas said.

Pappas said he went to the Hendersonville processing office Sunday to try to talk to the brothers.

“They (agents) would not let me speak to my client, and that's an outrage, a violation of due process,” Pappas said.

Buncombe County GOP charmain Carl Mumpower has a different view of the weekend arrests.

"There is suffering that comes with this,” he said. “But we have to remember that people made a choice to come here illegally, to skirt around our immigration system. And that has consequences. If I get drunk tonight and get a DUI, it's really going to affect my family. But it was a choice. And I don't think we can just keep skipping our choices and the impact on our lives and the lives of others."

An ICE spokesman said anyone arrested in this area would be fingerprinted at processing offices, but wouldn't say where the offices were. He did say people who remain in custody after being arrested in North Carolina are transported to immigration detention facilities in Georgia.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending