Protesters gather after alleged ICE raid in southeastern New Mexico

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ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Immigrants in southeastern New Mexico say they are being targeted after a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement office opened in Roswell.

Friday, a protest was organized to spread awareness of the Roswell ICE office after they say a raid occurred in the area.

“We are here and we aren’t leaving,” protesters yelled Friday.

“Without them the economy in Roswell and the whole United States would go down the drain,” said Richard Lopez, LULAC President.

Organizers say illegal immigrants play an important role in the community working for dairy farmers and in the oil industry.

“My parents are both from Mexico and they worked hard. Immigrants work hard. They add to the community they build business here. They add to the economy,” said Luis-Angel Lujan, protester.

“It’s immigrant workers and their families who are being torn apart because of what ICE is doing, and these are the people who are making rural communities survive,” said Marina Piña, a Roswell organizer with Somos un Pueblo Unido.

A protestor claims more than 50 illegal immigrants were picked up this week in Clovis.

“This sent shock waves throughout the communities in Clovis. Businesses didn’t open that day, people stayed in their homes and there’s a lot of panic and uncertainty of what is next,” said Neza Leal, Communications Director for Somos.

Organizers believe the increased activity is from a new ICE office in Roswell. KRQE News 13 reached out to ICE to confirm the number of people detained in Clovis, but they have not responded.

After checking federal court records, since July 10 there have been six people picked up for being in the U.S. illegally. Three were arrested at the jail in Clovis and three more were arrested at the jail in Hobbs.

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