ICE agents make an­other ar­rest at Fresno court­house

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Local - BY YESENIA AMARO ya­[email protected]­ Staff writer Pablo Lopez con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment of­fi­cials on Fri­day made an­other ar­rest at the Fresno County Su­pe­rior Court.

Erika Sanchez said her boyfriend, Sil­vino Nava, was de­tained by ICE at the M Street court­house on Fri­day morn­ing. Nava was wait­ing for his do­mes­tic vi­o­lence case to be heard when ICE of­fi­cers de­tained him. Sanchez said she was told Nava would be de­ported to Ti­juana, Mex­ico, on Fri­day night.

Sanchez said Nava kept ask­ing ICE agents why they were tak­ing him, and the agents told her to “calm down” and re­peat­edly told her to “stay away.” Sanchez said the agents were not able to show an ar­rest war­rant and only ver­bally said Nova had a war­rant since 2016.

“They just go in there and sep­a­rate fam­i­lies,” Sanchez said while sob­bing dur­ing a tele­phone in­ter­view.

ICE agents be­gan making ar­rests at the Fresno court­house in mid-July, prompt­ing con­cerns among at­tor­neys and im­mi­grant rights ad­vo­cates over whether in­di­vid­u­als’ rights to due process are be­ing vi­o­lated.

On Thurs­day, fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion agents also made an ap­pear­ance at the Tu­lare County Su­pe­rior Court, but made no ar­rests.

An ICE spokesper­son wasn’t able to con­firm the Fri­day ar­rest, but did con­firm that an of­fi­cer had ap­peared at the Tu­lare court­house on Thurs­day, but “no ar­rests were planned or made.”

The spokesper­son also con­firmed that ICE agents had a re­cent false step in the Fresno court­house, tar­get­ing some­one who was prop­erly doc­u­mented.

“The sub­ject was not ar­rested and af­ter talk­ing to him and de­ter­min­ing he was not our in­tended tar­get, he left the court­house,” the spokesper­son said.

Nava’s case dealt with three mis­de­meanor charges of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence against Sanchez, but the cou­ple had been go­ing to court for a year to get the case re­solved.

Nava’s at­tor­ney, Alexan­dria De La Fuente with the Fresno County Public De­fender’s Of­fice, said it was un­fair that her client was ar­rested while his crim­i­nal case is pend­ing. She also com­plained that an ICE agent, while ar­rest­ing her client, brushed up against her and “slammed” her into a wall when she asked the agent if he had an ar­rest war­rant.

“They act like it’s the Wild West,” De La Fuente said. She did not iden­tify her client, but court records iden­tify him as Nava.

Af­ter his ar­rest, Nava’s case was called, and Judge Car­los Cabr­era is­sued a bench war­rant. But De La Fuente con­vinced the judge to hold the war­rant un­til Nava’s next hear­ing on Sept. 21 in case he shows up.

Fresno County Sher­iff’s Deputy Michael Bel­loli, who over­sees se­cu­rity at the court­house on M Street, said he had seen ICE agents carry out one ar­rest on Fri­day, and had not seen them re­turn in the af­ter­noon.

“All law en­force­ment iden­tify them­selves,” Bel­loli said.

Bel­loli said he didn’t have a prob­lem with ICE agents making ar­rests at the court­house as long as they didn’t do it in­side the court­rooms.

“It’s more of a cour­tesy that they don’t dis­turb the court,” he said.



Erika Sanchez

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