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Santa Maria people react to recent ICE arrests in the area

“These raids I feel have been long overdo,” says Kirt Bracke.

People living in Santa Maria say the recent ICE raids in the area are a matter of public safety.

“ICE grabs these people and gets them out of our country to make the American citizen safer,” he says.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers arrested more than 150 people from the Los Angeles and Central Coast areas.

Four of those people were arrested in Santa Maria. They are people ICE says “have violated our nation’s immigration laws.”

“I think it’s wonderful I think about time people started to obey the law,” says Bill Reynolds.

He says everyone should be held accountable for following it.

“I have no problem with people coming, no problem with migration, I think its wonderful people are coming in,” he says.

ICE says 94% of the people arrested during this raid have criminal records. Among the arrested are people from places like South Korea, Israel, Jamaica and Mexico.

“There has to be a better way to establish who has to be taken so it’s more calm and people understand instead of a quote on quote “raid”,” says Vonda Rush.

Community advocate Hazel Davalos says these raids are tearing families apart.

“The Latino community has been sort of on guard, and cautious and worried about raids,” she says.

In a statement the Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says:

“President Trump has been clear in affirming the critical mission of DHS in protecting the nation and directed our Department to focus on removing illegal aliens who have violated our immigration laws with a specific focus on those who pose a threat to public safety.”

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