A man who recounted his longtime girlfriend’s arrest in a Seattle Times story about ramped-up immigration enforcement in Pacific County last month says Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested him because he appeared in the news story, the Times reports. Baltazar “Rosas” Aburto Gutierrez, said that after he left work Monday as a clam harvester, an ICE agent blocked his car at a market and told him, “You are Rosas. You are the one from the newspaper.” Aburto Gutierrez quoted the agent as saying, “My supervisor asked me to come find you because of what appeared in the newspaper.”
ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley confirmed his arrest and detention but said nothing about whether ICE was retaliating against Aburto Gutierrez or what role the newspaper story might have played in his arrest. “It certainly is troubling,” said the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project’s Matt Adams, who wondered whether ICE’s actions violated Aburto Gutierrez’s right to free speech. Aburto Gutierrez said he cannot afford a lawyer or the $25,000 bond needed to be released from the detention center. He has lived in the U.S. for 18 years.