Employees detained after ICE raid in Bloomer – WEAU

BLOOMER, Wis. (WEAU) – Casa Mexicana is open in Bloomer today, for the first time in three days.

Police say two ICE agents detained three employees while they were working late last week. Joaquin Angel Lopez has owned Casa Mexicana for about four years.

“They came in right away to the employees,” Lopez said. “We had to close that day because it was the only employees we had that day.”

According to Lopez, nothing like this has every happened there.

“It was the first time. They asked a lot of questions of those guys.”

Lopez became a citizen in 1996 after immigrating from Mexico.
He said he’s not sure if he will hear from those taken again.

“I don’t know if they will connect with me,” he said. “Right now, I don’t get any calls, nothing”

Residents in bloomer say they were shocked when they heard about what happened.

Cheryl Frazier lives in Bloomer and said she had no idea a raid had taken place.

“If they weren’t doing anything wrong, it’s kind of sad,” she said. “Hopefully it all works out.”

Another resident, who declined to go on camera, said he was surprised when he heard about the raid.

“I was quite surprised, quite surprised they even knew about us up here,” they said. “But it happens it guess.”

Bloomer Police Chief, Jared Zwiefelhofer, confirmed the raid to WEAU on Saturday. Lopez said two males and one female were taken from the restaurant.

“They only worked a couple of days; Friday and Tuesday” he said.

“I guess it all depends on the circumstances,” Frazier said. “If some are really poor and need the money. A lot of the American people don’t want to work.”

“I’ve been told it is really easy to get a green card to get over here legally, just have to go through the proper steps,” a resident said.

Lopez said the whole thing happened really fast.

“They just came in right away and got those three,” he said.” It was the only ones we had that day”

People WEAU spoke with Sunday say they knew the restaurant was closed, but did not know the reason.