Congressman Vicente Gonzalez released a statement responding to the arrest of a woman at the Hidalgo County Court House by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The stamen reads:
I was disturbed to learn that ICE arrested Ericka Gonzalez Zuniga at the Hidalgo County Courthouse yesterday. While lawful, this lacked forethought, incites fear in our community, and may have a detrimental impact on our local justice system. I will be engaging with local leaders and ICE to learn more about this situation and develop appropriate protocols that prevent this from happening again.
According to a release from ICE, Zuniga has multiple convictions for theft between 2003 and 2010 and was issued a final order of removal by a federal immigration judge on January 4, 2005, and has multiple illegal entries into the United States. The statement adds Zuniga is a citizen of Mexico who is illegally present in the United States.
Nina Pruneda, Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement Spokeswoman also stated:
Under ICE policy, courthouses are not considered sensitive locations. In such instances where officers seek to conduct an arrest at a courthouse, every effort is made to take the person into custody in a secure area, out of public view, for the safety of those involved.