/ICE raid ‘It’s a weird thing to balance His desire to work is a good thing, but in this case it counts against him’

ICE raid ‘It’s a weird thing to balance His desire to work is a good thing, but in this case it counts against him’

Guillermo Domingo Gomez, an 18-year-old Guatemalan native, was granted bond by U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson on Friday morning. Anderson was convinced by testimony from Gomez’s uncle that Gomez had a reliable custodian who would ensure that he appeared for trial. This testimony was contrary to the account of Brent Young, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Agent. Young claimed that Gomez’s Aug. 7 raids at Koch Foods had revealed no family connections in the United States. Carlos Tanner, the defense attorney, asked Young questions and revealed that immigration officials had only asked Gomez if he had children or a spouse. It turned out that Gomez was staying in Forest with his uncle before his arrest. Anderson’s decision came after many days of struggle by defense lawyers to prove their clients were not a flight risk. The government’s prosecution presented a “preponderance” of evidence in most cases this week that detainees were either likely to flee or pose a threat to the community. Prosecutors claimed that defendants can be harder to track if they use an alias. U.S. lawyers could not prove Gomez’ wrongdoing other than the use of another’s Social Security number to search for work. Anderson stated that it was a strange thing to balance before she ruled. Anderson stated that Gomez’s desire to work was a positive thing but it is against him in this case. Gomez was granted a $10,000 unsecured bond, which means he will not have to pay, with several conditions including staying in Mississippi’s Southern District. Gomez’s uncle testified that he drove Gomez to New Orleans immigration court on two occasions and invited his nephew to stay with them until the trial started. He also testified that Gomez was a victim of crime in Guatemala and had called him before Gomez left. He warned his aunt that he should not travel to the U.S. but paid for Gomez’s Greyhound ticket once he arrived in Arizona. Mississippi Today continues to report on the events surrounding the raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at poultry plants in August. For more coverage, click here