During the election last year West Frankfort, Illinois, voted overwhelmingly in favor of President Donald Trump, perhaps not quite realizing the ramifications of what his victory might mean for their city. Well, now they know. Last week Juan Carlos Hernandez Pacheco, who came to the U.S. twenty years ago and is the beloved owner of the La Fiesta restaurant, was arrested by ICE agents.
Pacheco has a wife and three children who are all U.S. citizens. Pacheco reportedly pays all his taxes on time and has been seeking legal status for years. His restaurant is often the scene of charity events held to raise funds for local families who have fallen on hard times.
Residents stated they were still supportive of Trump, but thought the president ought to make exceptions for individuals like Pacheco who worked hard making their own business which in turn created jobs for the area. One resident, Lori Bannon, said:
I think people need to do things the right way, follow the rules and obey the laws, and I firmly believe in that. But in the case of Carlos, I think he may have done more for the people here that this place has ever given him. I think it’s absolutely terrible that he could be taken away.
Even the city Mayor, Tom Jordan, praised the restauranteur as a “great asset” to the community who “doesn’t ask for anything in return.” The Athletic Director at a local high school, Richard Glodich, wrote a letter of support for Pacheco, in which he heavily criticized ICE for arresting “a GOOD MAN that should be used as a role model for other immigrants.”
ICE are currently questioning Pacheco about his immigration status. ICE have not released a statement about this specific case, only commenting that: “every day, as part of routine operations, ICE officers target and arrest criminal aliens and other individuals who are in violation of our nation’s immigrations laws.”
It’s a bittersweet affair when Trump voters learn what their vote really meant at the expense of another person’s livelihood, especially someone who clearly means a lot to the community they live in. Unfortunately, that’s probably the only thing that will sway the opinions of his misguided supporters.
This is the grim reality of the Trump’s presidency playing out in front of our very eyes. Trump doesn’t care if the person being arrested was an upstanding member of society, a business owner, a pillar of the community or even someone that creates jobs. Nope, now only their immigration status really matters. Under Trump’s policies, an upstanding citizen like Pacheco is now labeled a “criminal alien” and incarcerated for not having the correct piece of paper. However, soon even Trump voters will begin to realize that America’s economy
However, soon even Trump voters will begin to realize that America’s economy needs the millions of undocumented migrants that provide economic stimulus in the form of unskilled labor this country requires for the day-to-day running of millions of businesses.
Sadly this story is going to be repeated again and again.