MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis Latino journalist is in ICE custody in Louisiana.
FOX13 has learned that the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office notified Immigration and Customs about Manuel Duran.
Duran had a court appearance at 201 Poplar on Thursday. At court hearing, all the criminals charges were dismissed, and he was released from police custody.
As he was leaving jail though, ICE officials were waiting.
At a protest Tuesday, Manuel Duran was on Facebook Live telling his 17,000 followers on the ‘Memphis Noticias’ page about the rolling block party, blocking traffic, outside 201 Poplar.
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An hour later, he found himself inside 201 Poplar.
“He was not a protester. He was a reporter covering the story,” said Mauricio Calvo.
Mauricio Calvo has known Manuel for years. Calvo runs Latino Memphis, which is now working to represent Manuel legally.
“We are going to be looking at all the options to fight for Manuel's release and ultimately for him to stay in the United States,” said Calvo.
Right now, Duran is in Jena, Louisiana at an ICE holding facility.
It is not his first encounter with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
An ICE Spokesperson told FOX13:
<em>"Mr. Duran-Ortega was ordered removed from the U.S. by a federal immigration judge in January 2007 after failing to appear for his scheduled court date. He has been an immigration fugitive since that time."</em>
When Duran was arrested Tuesday, even though the charges were dropped, he popped back up on the ICE radar.
“When somebody is not a threat to the community, or themselves, or anybody. They should have an opportunity to be here,” said Calvo.
Calvo and the local Latino community said there needs to be immigration reform, so hard-working people are not easily deported. That is a larger fight though. Right now, they are focused on getting one journalist out of a cell and back to Memphis.
“We hope that he has a chance, he deserves it.”
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office sent FOX13 a statement that read in part:
<em>"By State law, whenever a person is booked into a jail, the person is asked about birthplace and citizenship. Information must be provided to ICE if the jailer cannot determine the person's citizenship status…The Sheriff's Office has no agreements with ICE to enforce immigration laws and it does not enforce immigration laws."</em>
Cox Media Group