Different organizations that represent the Latinx community in Henderson County are dealing with the fallout from arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A grassroots organized event this weekend aims to highlight the resilience of the immigrant community in Hendersonville, which is still reeling from an arrest by ICE on Feb. 13, as well as a larger raid that took place last year.
On Apr. 8, Alan Ramirez went door-to-door, carrying a stack of flyers under his arm.
“We are on the street where members of the Hendersonville community were detained,” Ramirez said.
He was hand-delivering invitations to an event this Saturday, called “La Resistencia de La Comunidad.”
Ramirez says the neighbors are either still at work, or they might be afraid to open their doors.
“I would be afraid too, I wouldn’t answer the door,” he said.
That lingering fear has been an ongoing consequence of the recent ICE arrest in Henderson County. Particularly as it pertains to public safety.
“That they’re afraid to report crimes. More than anything last year when we saw it, after the raids, people not coming out to report for domestic violence,” Lori Garcia-McCammon, executive director of True Ridge, said. “There’s still people reporting, but it is less.”
True Ridge is a Hendersonville-based non-profit that provides free legal and case management services to immigrant families and individuals.
Almost exactly this time last year, ICE arrested and deported 15 individuals in Henderson and Buncombe Counties.
Garcia-McCammon doesn’t think the most recent arrest in Hendersonville merits being called a raid. But she says it’s still just as shocking to the community.
“It was really localized, it was one specific place. But when news starts coming out, and communication starts coming out, they’re saying ‘oh there’s a raid, somebody’s been picked up,’ the community shuts down,” Garcia-McCammon said. “They don’t want to send their kids to school. People don’t want to go to work.”
During the arrest two months ago, ICE agents targeted Hector Aldana-Menjivar on the basis of his immigration status and for an alleged robbery from 1991. ICE says when agents entered his home, they arrested at least two others.
Back on the street where that arrest took place, a neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous for this story, answered the door.
She says she wasn’t home during the time of the arrest. But she plans on attending the event on Sat. to show solidarity for her neighbors. The rally is scheduled for Sat. from 3-5pm in Jackson Park in Hendersonville.