Kenosha---About two-hundred supporters of Lutheran pastor and seminary student Betty Rendon rallied outside of the Kenosha Detention Center near the airport Wednesday evening. Inside, Rendon and her husband were being detained on orders from ICE.
Rendon, who works part-time at a church in Racine while going to school in Chicago, was arrested last week along with her husband. Her 26-year-old daughter, who has protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, was also picked up but later released. Despite her DACCA status, The daughter was handcuffed and hauled away in the presence of her five-year-old daughter. ICE agents entered the family's home by tricking the husband, who speaks limited English, into opening the door, supporters said at the rally.
It’s unclear just what triggered the raid.
The family came to the U-S from Columbia seeking asylum in 2004. Their request was denied, although a removal order was never enforced.
At the rally, Lutheran Bishop Paul Erickson said changes need to be made in U-S immigration policy. "No person deserves the cruel and vindictive treatment that she and her family have endured," Erickson said. "No person should be treated like a political pawn in an immigration debate that has reached absurd and violent depths."
Carthage professor Stephanie Mitchell attends the Racine church where Rendon has preached, and has spoken with the family. She notes that the extreme politicization of the immigration issue is a relatively recent development. "We do not have to be as divided as we are right now," she said.
ICE issued a statement Wednesday night on Rendon’s arrest. Without elaborating, it said that the agency focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.
Rendon and her husband are reportedly seeking a stay of the deportation order.