Sergio Salazar was at a non-violent protest at the “Occupy ICE” camp in San Antonio, Texas, along with several high school and college-aged activists when he was taken away by the federal officials for “interrogation.”
ICE agents reportedly drove the 18-year-old behind a nearby abandoned Walmart and searched his belongings, eventually stripping him of them before taking him to the Webb County Jail. He was held there under accusations of violating federal immigration law, threatening to make bombs and impeding an officer.
According to the reports, the student is also on an FBI database of potential threats.
Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services’ (RAICES) Communications Director Jennifer Falcon revealed that Salazar had been questioned by the FBI after being transported to the detention facility.
“They asked Sergio to give information about his friends, who are part of the ‘Occupy ICE’ movement,” she said. “He declined.”
Prior to the arrest, Salazar had asked for renewal of his Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, which RAICES was working on with him. But after his arrest, he was told his request had been denied due to allegations against him.
RAICES is sure that this arrest was made on purpose as his DACA renewal was denied on the same day.
“He wasn’t even aware that his DACA was denied — it was very obvious that they arrested him the day of,” said Falcon. “He was clearly targeted, and it’s just unbelievable.”
Falcon insists the protests under the “Occupy ICE” movement have been “strictly non-violent” as the protestors were mostly involved in acts of kindness and encouragement, adding they only handed out water bottles and toys to children arriving at the ICE field office with their parents for check-ins.
Salazar has denied all accusations of threats for “bomb-making,” while revealing the FBI also went through his phone in order to collect evidence that wasn’t even there.
“They’ve not made any bombs,” Falcon said. “Sergio says he’s never mentioned a bomb or done anything of that nature, so he doesn’t understand how they could get a search warrant to go through his phone.”
Salazar reportedly immigrated to the United States with his family when he was only 2-years old and has no relatives in Mexico, except for a grandmother whom he hasn’t since seen since he was a toddler, making U.S. the only country he’s familiar with.
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