Judge sets bail for man held in Austin ICE sweep,

Mex­i­can who works as a pain­ter has no record, lawyer says.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Tony Plo­het­ski tplo­het­ski@states­man.com

A fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion judge Wed­nes­day set bail for one of the 51 peo­ple ar­rested in a re­cent op­er­a­tion in the Austin-area by the U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus- toms En­force­ment agency, which will al­low him to be re­leased from a de­ten­tion fa­cil­ity and at least tempo- rar­ily re­turn to his home.

Juan Pablo Co­var­ru­bias is be­ing con­sid­ered by his at­tor­ney as a “col­lat­eral ar­rest” — mean­ing im­mi­gra­tion agents likely learned about him and de­tained him while in­ves­ti­gat­ing some­one else. At­tor­ney Stephen O’Con­nor said his client worked as a pain­ter and did not have a crim­i­nal his­tory when he was ar­rested near La­mar and Air­port bou- levards nearly three weeks ago.

O’Con­nor said his client is el­i­gi­ble to be re­leased once his fam­ily posts $8,000 bail.

“He wants to stay here and con­tinue liv­ing a pro­duc­tive healthy life with­out the fear of vi­o­lence in Mexico,” O’Con­nor said Wed­nes­day. “He thinks he has more re­sources here.”

He said Co­var­ru­bias, who is 38 years old and has been in the coun­try for about 18 years, has no im­me­di­ate fam- ily in Austin but is in­volved in the lives of his nieces and neph­ews, who live in Travis County.

He also has an un­cle in Austin, who he called when he first saw ICE agents mov­ing in to ar­rest him.

“He doesn’t dr ink, he doesn’t smoke,” Jose Paz-Lla- mas said in an in­ter­view. “He only works. He works for his fam­ily. He’s an hon­est per­son. I know the peo- ple who pro­vide work for him are very proud of him.”

O’Con­nor con­firmed his client’s iden­tity af­ter read­ing a re­cent Amer­i­can-States­man re­port that said that among the 51 peo­ple ar­rested, 28 were iden­ti­fied by ICE as “non-crim­i­nals,” mean­ing they did not have a crimi- nal his­tory.

Co­var­ru­bias’ case indi- cates that some of those sus­pects who were ar­rested in Op­er­a­tion Cross Check are now go­ing through the process of see­ing judges to pos- sibly have a bail set.

As a con­di­tion of his re­lease, Co­var­ru­bias can’t com­mit a crime or he risks de­por­ta­tion. He also must at­tend a hear­ing in San An­to­nio be­fore a judge in com­ing weeks.

O’Con­ner said his client hopes that he will be able to ap­ply for asy­lum to re­main legally in the coun­try.

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