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How Rochester is responding to immigration sweeps

Nationwide raids targeting illegal immigrants are set to begin this weekend but the Rochester Police Department says they are not taking part. But not everyone feels this is the right move.

Posted: Jul 12, 2019 12:48 AM
Updated: Jul 12, 2019 7:16 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rocky Papenfus is a proud war veteran who waves his American flag high. He isn't happy Rochester Police won't be coordinating with federal authorities on deportation raids. 

"I don't believe the Rochester Police should be able to pick and choose which laws they will uphold and which laws they won't enforce," Papenfus said. "A law's a law and it should be enforced." 

Papenfus says the only way to stay in this country should be to do so legally. 

"What I do know is if you come to this country illegally, you're a criminal," Papenfus said. "What's to say you're not going to keep on being a criminal?" 

But Miriam Goodson - an immigrant from Mexico - who became a U.S. citizen says RPD is making the right call and a humane one. 

"Put a face on the people that they think don't have any rights as human beings," Goodson said. 

The idea of ICE raids separating families sickens her. 

"The number one reason we are here is family," Goodson said. "Family keeps us together. We'll do everything, it comes to the values we share and we cherish." 

Two different views on the enforcement of immigration laws. 

"If you want to break the law and come in here illegally and possibly keep on being a criminal, just stay home," Papenfus said. 

Goodson disagrees. 

"That doesn't mean it's a criminal matter," Goodson said. "It is just a civil concern that we need to be working together to keep us safe." 

The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office also sent out a statement saying law enforcement deputies do not engage in Federal Immigration Violation Enforcement. 

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