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Ann Arbor restaurant owner: ICE agents had breakfast then made arrests

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested three workers at an Ann Arbor restaurant Wednesday morning.

The owner of Sava's Restaurant says the ICE agents had breakfast before they went into the kitchen to arrest an employee who wasn't on duty at the time.

Instead, Sava Lelcaj Farah says they began questioning other employees before taking three into custody.

"People with documentation freaked out and ran out the front door, so then they wound up investigating everybody in the building and looking through all the documentation available," Lelcaj Fara said.

She says the employees who were arrested have proper documentation -- but didn't have it with them at the time. They were taken to Detroit's ICE office.

Lelcaj Fara called the incident a "sad day" and says many of her employees have felt that they've been "under fire" in recent months.

"Even folks who have the criteria to work in the United States but may have family members who don't have the criteria. The entire community is living under fear," she said.

ICE officials provided the following statement:

While conducting a targeted enforcement action at Sava's restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers encountered and arrested three individuals on immigration violations. Sergio Cardenas Rubio and Jesus Ortiz Hernandez unlawfully entered the United States without inspection at an unknown date and location. Mohamed Souman lawfully entered the country, but did not depart in accordance with the terms of his status. All three are currently in ICE custody.


Rebecca Kruth is the host of All Things Considered at Michigan Public. She also co-hosts Michigan Public's weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
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