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The Brief: How the ICE sting led to a family in crisis

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say more than 50 people were arrested and detained this past weekend in a "targeted operation.” In at least one instance, a case of mistaken identity has led to a family crisis.

Irma Perez talks briefly with her husband, Miguel Angel Torres, who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement leav…

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What you need to know

Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement say more than 50 people were arrested and detained this past weekend in a "targeted operation.” Officials say they were looking for specific people who have "failed to honor a deportation order or because they have a DWI-related warrant or because of domestic violence." 

But according to the Austin-American Statesman, some immigrant parents are keeping their children home from school. And in at least one instance, a case of mistaken identity has led to a family crisis

  • On Friday, Irma Perez got a call from a neighbor with disastrous news: Her husband, Miguel Angel Torres, was arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after dropping off their three daughters at school.
  • Four days earlier, Irma Perez had decided to help pay off her brother’s unpaid tickets to help him avoid any trouble. She provided her own address. Lawyers working on her husband's case believe officers waited outside the family's home thinking Torres was Irma Perez's brother, who had been previously deported.
  • When Torres was pulled over, officials asked him if he was Jose Manuel Perez,  according to Irma Perez. He said he wasn't — but was then detained anyway
  • Irma Perez has left her home out of fear that ICE might come there next. Both Irma and Torres are undocumented immigrants. Their three daughters are U.S. citizens. 

News from home

Help us report on sex trafficking in Texas: Over the past five months, The Texas Tribune has investigated the hidden world of sex trafficking. Now, we want to hear about your experiences.

Ask Texas Tribune journalists Neena Satija, Morgan Smith and Edgar Walters about our investigation into sex trafficking in Texas by joining us for a Feb. 21 Reddit "Ask Me Anything" chat with a former child welfare investigator. 

What we're reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; paywall content noted with $) 

The Justice Department is taking a step back from efforts to protect transgender people under existing law, BuzzFeed News

Joaquin Castro-filed resolution could lead to Trump impeachment: 'No president is above the law'San Antonio Express-News

More than 1 million undocumented people live in Houston and Dallas combinedTexas Monthly

ICE confirms 51 arrests in Austin-area operationAustin American-Statesman ($)

Proposed budget cuts may lead to fewer classes, professors at Texas universities, The Houston Chronicle ($)

Texas drivers could soon help end the backlog of untested rape kits, The Dallas Morning News ($)

Severely disabled kids' lives at risk, parents say, as Texas enacts Medicaid cost-savings planThe Dallas Morning News ($)

Photo of the day

After being sold for sex as a teen, Jean, now 21, says she is attempting to rebuild her life in East Texas, starting with getting her GED and driver’s license. Jean's father sexually abused her for years before Texas put her in foster care. Then she shuffled from home to home before turning to a pimp for the stability that eluded her. Photo by Callie Richmond. See more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"A discriminatory religious test to determine entry after refugees have already escaped the worst forms of persecution is not in keeping with who we are and what we believe."

— Karim Farishta, a student and former Obama administration White House staffer, about President Trump's executive order on refugees via TribTalk

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Sanya Mansoor. If you have feedback or questions, please email thebrief@texastribune.org. We're a nonprofit newsroom, and count on readers like you to help power newsletters like this. Did you like what you read today? Show your appreciation by becoming a member or making a donation today.

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