Charlotte has had a uptick in immigration raids conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Seen in the many pictures here are the arrest photos of those targeted and arrested by ICE in the most recent raids in and around Charlotte.
In their immigration arrest interviews, many of the arrestees admitted to taking a freight train in Mexico nicknamed 'La Bestia' to get to America illegally.
In addition to Charlotte, ICE has active operations in Matthews, Mint Hill, and other surrounding areas.
Under the “zero tolerance” approach rolled out this year by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, anyone who crosses into the United States illegally will face criminal prosecution. In most cases, that means parents who arrive with children stay in federal jails while their children are sent to HHS shelters.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that calls for separating families who cross the border illegally, saying the undocumented immigrants shouldn't get special treatment.
"That's no different than what we do every day in every part of the United States — when an adult of a family commits a crime," says Nielsen. "If you as a parent break into a house, you will be incarcerated by police and thereby separated from your family. Illegal aliens should not get different rights because they happen to be illegal aliens," Nielsen added.
Every immigration arrests is followed by an interview with department officials asking arrestees a number of questions. And in those interviews, many revealed that they hitchhiked on a freight train labeled 'La Bestia' to arrive in America.
'La Bestia' is a freight train that starts in southern Mexico carrying goods and products all the way to California and Texas. Many illegal immigrants climb and ride on the roof of the train compartments for days with the expectation of arriving to America for a better life.
Along the way, many fall off the fast moving train and sustain severe injuries, more so, many are ran over by the train. Packages of food and water are tossed onto the train by friendly onlookers at various points throughout the several day journey.
The wind is always a problem, the heat during the day causes dehydration, and the cold night causes many to get sick.
From babies, to kids, to grown men and women-- 'La Bestia' is the way to the United States.
Now, all of the immigrant arrestees will be transported to a detention center in Georgia and will eventually face deportation hearings, unless they can bail out of jail.