Residents say ICE raided Las Cruces mobile home park; dozens arrested across county

Residents of a mobile home park in Las Cruces say they were woken up early Wednesday morning with ICE agents pounding on their doors.

Residents of Alameda Acres mobile home park say the agents said they were looking for someone but went door to door asking people to see their papers.

“I heard they were looking for undocumented people because my neighbors are saying that not only was ICE there, but Border Patrol was there,” said Lizzett Solis.

According to Solis, ICE agents even forced their way into her neighbor’s home.

“She's pregnant and they went in there into her house. They didn't even show her a clear picture, they showed her a piece of paper saying that they're looking for somebody,” she said.

Solis said when the agents didn’t find anyone, they moved on to the next house.

“We are all panicking, we were all scared,” Solis said. “Is this going to be happening all the time now? I mean why us?”

According to Dona Ana County jail records, three people were picked up from that mobile home park.

Mary Valdez lives next door to the men and says she was getting ready for work when he was detained by ICE agents.

“I've been crying all day to tell you the truth because it's very hard to see this happening especially to nice people like them, especially to little kids. It breaks my heart,” Valdez said.

Valdez says she her grandkids are friends with Rene Villanueva-Hernadez’s two young children.

“He's always playing with them football, basketball he's always or they're always going for walks I always see them going for walks. He's a good dad. I've never had any complaints,” Valdez said.

According to jail records, Hernadez was booked into the Dona Ana County jail around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday without a bond.

“It happened so early in the morning so he wasn't even prepared. The kids were not prepared. And heaven knows what happened in there,” Valdez said.

Valdez said she found out about Hernadez’s arrest from his son while he was waiting at the stop for his school bus that day.

“So my daughter asked him and he said, ‘Yeah they took my dad.’”

Valdez describes Hernadez as a good neighbor who was always willing to lend a helping hand.

“He comes and does my yard for free. I borrow things from him, he borrows things from me,” she said.

She says she is worried for the children, who she believes are now staying with their grandmother.

“I can't imagine what they're going through, this fear,” she said. “Those kids are suffering right now.”

According to the jail records for Hernandez, there is no bond and there was no warrant issued.

ICE has still not officially confirmed that any immigration enforcement operations have happened this week in Las Cruces.

In a statement, ICE spokesperson Leticia Zamarripa said, “ICE will not confirm an operation prior to its completion, nor will ICE speculate on future operational activities.”

This is what CBS4 found digging through the Dona Ana County Jail records from the past week:

  • Total number of people arrested on immigration violations: 27
  • People arrested on smuggling charges: 1
  • Number of immigrants from Mexico: 22
  • Number of immigrants from unknown countries: 5
  • DUSM named as the arresting agency: 18
  • Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office named as the arresting agency: 1
  • ICE named as the arresting agency: 3
  • Border Patrol named as the arresting agency: 5
  • Number of people arrested at the Dona Ana County Federal Courthouse: 20
  • Number of people arrested at other locations: 7
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