BEND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters rallied to block Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials from detaining two men in Bend.
Immigration attorney Micaela Guthrie is working with the men and says they were detained Wednesday morning, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. An ICE spokesperson declined to answer questions.
A family member says word of the arrests spread after one of the detained men was able to call his wife. The two were taken to buses that were surrounded by activists for hours. Late Wednesday, it appeared that federal agents had emptied the buses and the crowd was dispersing.
Bend Mayor Sally Russell said on Twitter that the arrests were not an immigration sweep and that she had been informed the men have warrants out for their arrest. She had asked people to leave the area.
Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz says police had responded to a call from a federal official seeking help with the people blocking their path. Police told protesters they were trespassing. Krantz says officers were not assisting immigration authorities.
Portland-based nonprofit Innovation Law Lab has asked a federal court to keep ICE from taking the men out of central Oregon, the ACLU announced Wednesday night.
Guthrie says the men have lived in central Oregon for over a decade.