Dane Placko, WFLD-TV, May 24, 2018
Some restaurants in west suburban St. Charles had to close this week. They say they didn’t have enough staff after a series of surprise raids by immigration agents.
Now, immigration activists are calling on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency — or “ICE” — to back off. They say the raids are hurting families and businesses.
On Thursday, immigration activists in Aurora gathered to condemn the restaurant raids which they say have recently targeted several Fox Valley communities.
Several St. Charles restaurants were forced to close or offer partial menus Tuesday night and Wednesday when undocumented kitchen staff bolted after hearing about the raids.
In a statement, ICE would not confirm the St. Charles action, but did say: “ICE officers are out in the community every day conducting targeted arrests. While looking for those specific individuals, ICE officers sometimes encounter others who are also in violation of U.S. immigration laws.”
None of the restaurant owners would go on camera, but expressed frustration, saying they are forced to hire undocumented workers because they can’t fill the jobs, even when offering more than minimum wage.