ICE Takes 3 Days to Nab Illegal Immigrant

ICE Arrest AP

On Wednesday, an illegal immigrant who accosted a 13-year-old girl on Sunday evening in Milford, Michigan was arrested and taken into federal custody, but it took three days for ICE to get involved in the process.

Elias Lopez, 43, allegedly yelled at the girl from across the street as she was walking on Main Street, crossed over to her, told her, “come with me” twice, attempted to force five $20 bills into her hand, and seized her arm, according to the teenager. She added that she escaped and ran to a friend’s home, “extremely upset, crying and nearly hyperventilating.”

A 911 call prompted officers to find Lopez, who was drunk; his preliminary breath test registered .19 percent. The legal limit for driving in Michigan is .08 percent. The teen identified him after he was apprehended.

A police report stated that officers informed ICE officials once they found he was an illegal immigrant, but ICE refused to take him leaving police to charge him with being a disorderly person and release him.

Three days later, it was a different story: the Milford Times reported that ICE had declined to pick Lopez up, engendering negative publicity. On Wednesday, when Milford Police arrested Lopez at MiZarape Mexican Restaurant, they were accompanied by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

On Tuesday, Milford Police Chief Tom Lindberg said he was “extremely disappointed” about ICE’s refusal to pick up Lopez, admitting Lopez had to be released. He acknowledged, “We also can’t ever be sure what he said to her. He spoke very little English in here, so we can’t establish with any certainty what he said out there.”

But on Wednesday, after the arrest, he said, “I’m very proud ICE did the right thing … I think the community will appreciate that (ICE) came out to get him. We don’t want this person lurking around Milford. I wanted him out of here.”