(Painesville, Ohio) The temperature and tension are rising in Lake County's Mexican community. In May, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents apprehended 24 illegal aliens in accordance with arrest warrants, separating them from their families.
Since then, federal agents have returned several times with arrest warrants for specific people. But the agents typically question other Latinos they chance upon and detain those suspected of being here illegally.
Greg Palmore, a spokesman for the ICE in Detroit, said federal agents are enforcing the law and will continue to do so.
In response to the enforcement actions, a gathering of about 300 pro-illegal protesters, some imported, rallied on Sunday in downtown Painesville.
The crowd included smiling children, grim-faced grandmothers and men in white straw hats common to Leon, Mexico, which has sent hundreds of its sons and daughters to Lake County. Church leaders came from Cleveland and farmworkers rode buses from Northwest Ohio.
They marched six blocks to Veterans Memorial Park, the downtown common, waving American flags and carrying signs.
Word has it that both the Lake County Sheriff's Department and the Painesville Police were placed on cautionary alert for Sunday's rally in preparation for potential disturbances. None materialized. All in all, the protest rally was uneventful.
Realistically, though, given the size of the illegal alien community in Lake County, it's easy to imagine that future, more vigorous protests will be held.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.