United States Immigration’s Customs and Enforcement (ICE) officers detained three members of the kitchen staff at a restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor, Mich., on Wednesday morning – but only after sitting down to eat some waffles.
Sava Lelcaj-Farah, the owner of Sava’s restaurant, told MLive that the incident was “really sad,” and “scares the whole community.”
According to Sava’s representative Bree Stillwell, who spoke with Eater.com, five ICE agents entered the dining establishment at about 11:30 a.m. to eat breakfast. When they were done, they “went into the kitchen to apprehend one of our employees who wasn’t on at the time,” as they suspected he did not have the proper documentation.
When the ICE agents realized the employee wasn’t on duty, Stillwell says they turned their attention to other cooks in the kitchen, and started demanding their documentation instead.
Other workers who spoke with FOX 2 Detroit say that some of the ICE agents positioned themselves at the front and back exits of Sava’s to stand guard.
ICE eventually detained three of Sava’s workers who did not have documentation, and brought them to the agency’s Detroit office. The Detroit Metro Times initially reported that all three were released in the afternoon after they provided proper paperwork, but a representative for ICE confirmed on Wednesday evening that all three men were in the country illegally, and that they remained in ICE custody as of 7:20 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Michigan Daily, on the other hand, reports that two of the detainees had been released, with only one spending the night in custody.