WLAX/WEUX – Bloomer, Wisconsin: A Mexican restaurant in Bloomer is back open today after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid late last week. Police say ICE agents detained a few employees while they were working.
Casa Mexicana is open in Bloomer today for the first time in three days. Late last week two ICE agents detained three employees at the restaurant.
“They came in right away to the employees,” said Casa Mexicana owner Joaquin Angel Lopez, “So I had to close that day because they were the only employees we had that day.”
According to Lopez nothing like this has ever happened before. “This was the first time. They asked a lot of questions of those guys.”
Lopez has owned Casa Mexicana for almost four years. He became a citizen in 1996 after immigrating from Mexico. He says he’s not sure if he will hear from those who were taken again.
“I don’t know if they will connect with me – I don’t know. Right now, I don’t get any calls. Nothing.”
Residents in Bloomer say they were shocked when they heard about what happened. Two residents were quoted as saying:
“Well if they weren’t doing anything wrong it’s kind of sad. Hopefully it all works out,” said Cheryl Frazier.
“I was quite surprised. Quite surprised they even knew about us up here,” said an anonymous Bloomer resident.
Two males and one female were taken from the restaurant.
Frazier said, “It all depends on the circumstances. Some are really poor and need the money, and now a lot of the American people don’t want to work.”
“I’ve been told that it’s real easy to get a green card – to get over here legally – you just got to go through the proper steps,” said the Bloomer resident.
“They just came in right away,” Lopez said. “They got three. It was the only ones we had that day.”
People in the Bloomer community said that they had known the restaurant was closed, but did not know the reason.