Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday she does not want agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Baltimore after two men were detained in Highlandtown last Thursday and now face deportation.
"We don't want them in Baltimore," Pugh said during her weekly morning briefing after a meeting of the city's spending board.
Immigration officers from the agency detained two undocumented immigrants, Serbando Rodriguez, a Honduran whom advocates from CASA said fled violence and worked in Baltimore as a barber, and Manuel Suarez from Ecuador, a local business owner with a wife and two children.
As debates over so-called "sanctuary" cities have heated up, so has the anxiety felt within immigrant communities. An ICE spokesman said the two men were identified through investigative leads.
In a letter sent this week to elected officials and immigration leaders, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis wrote that he has been in contact with an official from the Department of Homeland Security.
The detainment of Rodriguez and Suarez led to a rally at the Walgreens near where the two men were detained, which was attended by two city council members.
Though Baltimore is not a "sanctuary city," Pugh describes it as "welcoming."
"We made it very clear that this is a welcoming city," Pugh said. "We don't have our police stopping and frisking people, asking them questions about their immigration status."
Commissioner Davis reiterates that stance in his letter, writing the police department "does not enforce federal immigration laws" and that "it is not BPD's policy for our officers to ask about an individuals immigration status ..."
Nationwide, at least 680 undocumented immigrants have been detained as part of a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration, a presidential mandate of Donald Trump.
Federal officials did not respond to our questions about whether they've identified other people for deportation or plan to act on it in the future.
Both men are detained at the Frederick County Detention Center as of last check. It is not clear what their future will be.