BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WOWK) – On Friday in Barboursville the community was abuzz about rumors of an ICE raid in area.
The parking was full outside of the Tortilla Factory: A Mexican Kitchen, and some people WOWK-13 News ran into were hoping to grab a meal at their favorite Mexican restaurant, but unfortunately its doors were closed for business.
However, According to a note on the door of the Mexican restaurant . . . ICE was here.
The not read: “Hungry? Thank ICE. Montani Semper Liberi”.
“Great people, great service, great food. The staff is very friendly, so I’m shocked and upset,” said David Riedel, Cabell County resident.
One person WOWK-13 News talked to said he saw ICE officers with employees around 9:30 AM.
Another person said he believes this is the third time the restaurant has had to close its doors for employing undocumented workers.
“Illegal is illegal period. When are we going to get that through our heads?” said Phillip and Maurine Skeens, Milton residents.
However, Riedel, who says he knows the owner, said he isn’t quite sure if those previous occurrences were due to ICE raids.
“I don’t know about a raid. I know about a year ago they were shutdown for family emergency”.
Earlier on Friday, Andrew Stacy, the communications manager with the City of Morgantown, said that the Morgantown Police Department was notified last week that ICE would be operating in the area. ICE did not provide any further details about the nature of the work it would be doing or on the time frame for that work, according to Stacy. The Morgantown Police Department is not assisting ICE with its operations, said Stacy.
However, ICE raids are starting to become a national trend.
More than a week ago seven processing plants were raided by ICE in the Mississippi area, resulting in 680 arrests, mostly Latino workers.
“ICE has been doing its job, keeping us safe, keeping the illegals out. I praise our president for the consideration of our safety,” said Phillip and Maurine Skeens.
Howevr, Riedel hopes the restaurant reopens its doors sooner rather than later.
“I do. I’m going to come by tomorrow and see if the doors are open”.
The Cabell County Sheriff’s office confirms there was a raid- in their words – “in the area”, but Sheriff Chuck Zerkle said they were not involved.
WOWK 13 News has reached out to the restaurant and ICE for comment; they have not responded back at this time.