He never thought ICE would come for him. Sixteen years and four DUIs later, they did

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Emanuel was in disbelief when he saw federal immigration officers show up to his workplace. He never thought they would come for him. “I told this guy — ‘What’s going on?’ He told me nothing. He arrests me,” he says. Emanuel Mendoza-Morales, 42, was born and raised in Mexico, but for the past 17 years he has lived in the United States after illegally entering the country by way of the southern border in 2003. An hour before, officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations office had shown up to the mechanic shop where Mendoza-Morales was working and took him into custody. Mendoza-Morales is now sitting at ICE’s processing center in downtown Santa Ana. He consented to speak with the Washington Examiner about his experience. At first, he does not have much to say and shrugs off the questions. Then all of a sudden, he starts speaking in Spanish to a guard, telling the official how the officers who arrested him did not let him pack up and stow his tools before taking him away. He starts crying, blurting out “estupido” several times, the Spanish word for “stupid.”


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