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Residents in Fear Over Immigration Raids | Crime

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Residents in Fear Over Immigration Raids
Crime

LAS VEGAS -- Some members of the Hispanic community in Las Vegas say they've had enough, claiming they were harassed by federal agents. Thirty one people were arrested at transportation businesses across the valley. The raids taking place on the same day Arizona's immigration law went into effect.

The owner of Las Vegas Shuttles say the agents came in last Thursday and started asking everyone for their documents. Out of 40 people, only one person was in the country illegally. Now, these community members say they feel like they were unfairly targeted.

"I am a U.S. citizen and it feels bad. It's not right," said Las Vegas Shuttles owner Emmanuel Corrales. 

Corrales wants answers after his business was swarmed with federal border agents on Thursday. They demanded documentation from everyone to see if they were in the country illegally.

"It was like we were criminals and we had to prove that we weren't criminals in order to be released or be treated different," he said.

His business, the limo service next door and Tufesa Internacional were also visited.

"They didn't identify (themselves). I asked them to identify and they ignored me, saying they couldn't talk to me at all," said Tufesa manager Rogelio Gaytan.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says these types of operations are routine, especially at transpiration hubs that can be a haven for drug and human smuggling. But some community members aren't buying it.

"They didn't search any vehicles. They didn't search anybody. They didn't ask people what they did for work. They were just harassing people," said Corrales.

"There was no indication that they gathered any drugs from any of the buses, so to my mind, this was a fishing expedition," said immigration attorney Vicenta Montoya.

CBP says the incidents were completely unrelated to the Arizona law. Again, an idea not everyone believes.

Local leaders say they will file complaints with the Department of Homeland Security to make sure no one else is unfairly targeted.

There is panic and fear in the Hispanic community that this will happen again. A lot of families are staying at home, refusing to even go to the grocery store for fear they will be unfairly targeted.

Crime