Friends, Family Await News Of Loved Ones Arrested During Workplace Immigration Raid | KERA News

Friends, Family Await News Of Loved Ones Arrested During Workplace Immigration Raid

Apr 6, 2019

On Friday morning, a group stood outside the Dallas office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, waiting for news about their friend, Salvador Hernandez.

They were there to fill out paperwork and pay his $2,500 bond. Hernandez was one of the 284 employees of CVE Technology Group arrested by immigration agents in Allen.

Wednesday's operation was the largest worksite immigration raid in more than a decade.

Hernandez was taken to Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, about a 30-minute drive south of Fort Worth. He called Maria Saavedra, asking for help. 

“He sound very sad and very concerned, like, I suspect, because it’s already [been] two days [since the raid],” she said.

Saavedra also works at CVE. She was inside the building when ICE agents showed up.

“It was not easy to see people crying,” she said. “I was trying to be relaxed and I was trying to give comfort words to the persons that I know and even the ones I didn’t even know.”

Two days after the country's largest work site immigration raid, friends and family members of those detained waited in line outside the Dallas office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some were there to fill out paperwork and pay the bond of their loved ones.
Credit Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Saavedra, who’s in the U.S. on a visa, was eventually released.

On Friday, she stood near Gilbert Flores, one of Hernandez's friends. Flores has known Hernandez for nearly 20 years and said his friend was there for him after he had open-heart surgery.

“He took care of me afterward. I stayed at his place. He fed me. He helped me go to the bathroom. Everything,” Flores said. “My parents came to visit, he took them around town.

"If anyone deserves to stay here, it’s him.”

After paying Hernandez’s bond, Flores and the others were planning to drive to Prairieland Detention Center to pick him up.

Saavedra said she was going to stay by Hernandez's side.

“If you have friends, don’t leave them alone, because everybody needs the help,” she said. “Even if it’s not with money, I think that we have to give our companion[ship] and good words for them to keep going.

“This is a very hard process for everyone.”

The Dallas field office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Credit Stella M. Chávez / KERA News