Story updated to reflect confirmation by federal employee.
A source has told WHAV agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested an individual in Haverhill Tuesday and is holding the person at an unidentified detention center.
The individual has lived in the area about a decade and has no prior criminal record, the source said. ICE, as it is known, is an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A federal employee, known to WHAV, but speaking on condition of anonymity because of privacy laws, confirmed the report. ICE has acknowledged it conducted “a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country.”
Haverhill City Councilor Andy Vargas used his personal social media page yesterday to report he is “Getting reports that ICE officials have already started to conduct raids in Haverhill.” He went on to ask, “Please spread the word and let your families become aware of your rights,” and posted information provided by the American Civil Liberties Union.
“My job as a city councilor is to inform and educate people on their rights,” Vargas said in a prepared statement. He went on to say, “In our country, human beings have rights. Even if you’re visiting from France, you have rights…when I receive compelling information about ICE activity in Haverhill, I’m going to take my job as a public official seriously and educate people on those rights.”
Vargas explained his goal.
“The intention is not to incite hysteria. Others are doing a fine job of that. These are real families that are living in fear of potential separation. I’m going to take every responsible precaution we can.”
A supporter of the individual arrested said Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been asked to assist. Warren’s office has not yet responded to an email inquiry from WHAV.