Immigration officials came to town Wednesday. Bishop’s Police Chief said that agents came to pick up men, mostly convicted of sex crimes and deported. Men, who have now returned to the U.S.
Chief Joe Pecsi said that the Immigration Criminal Enforcement group traveled to Bishop to serve federal warrants on some 12 men.
Chief Pecsi said the federal agents were only looking for the criminally convicted who had been deported but returned. He said that federal data bases made the connection to their presence in Bishop.
Hispanic workers throughout Bishop were alarmed by the immigration arrests. Some reportedly were hiding out and did not show up for work. Police said that the immigration agents in town were only here to pick up convicted criminals who had illegally returned to the United States. Chief Pecsi repeated that this was the only purpose for the official visit.
At Mammoth Lakes Police Department, officers said that they received a couple of phone calls inquiring about the possibility of INS in Mammoth. Police said they had no indication that immigration agents had come to town.
Immigration has generally quit traveling to the Eastern Sierra. In the 80’s agents did bring buses to Inyo and Mono to pick up undocumented aliens. Since that time, government budgets and much larger immigrant populations elsewhere have kept agents out of our towns.