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Local family impacted by routine ICE sweep, father arrested

The Loeza family. (KATU Photo)

President Trump's executive order to tighten border security and immigration enforcement is spurring fear among immigrant families, including one from Woodburn.

The Loeza family explained to KATU News how a routine ICE operation felt more like a targeted response when they arrested the father.

“We're all heartbroken and we still cannot believe this is happening,” said Michelle Loeza, Saul’s eldest daughter.

Saul Loeza was picked up by ICE right before work Thursday morning. He told his family agents were looking for his brother who has a criminal history.

“We personally think this is so unfair. What's happening to my dad is so unfair,” said Michelle Loeza.

The family says they’ve lived in Oregon for 30 years, working and paying their taxes. They never expected something like this could happen.

“We need our dad. He's the man of the family. He's the leader. He always gives us advice,” said Michelle Loeza.

This week, Homeland Security carried out sweeps nationwide, and claim they are part of a routine operation. While the main targets are undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions, others have gotten swept up in the process.

“First of all, they are rounding anybody up. The people that ICE apprehend are people who are illegal and then some," said John Kelly, secretary of Homeland Security.

Saul Loeza is currently detained in Tacoma.

The family doesn't know when, or if, they'll be reunited.

“I believe everyone should just be careful right now and take care of one another and enjoy your family because I wish I could be with my family enjoying them,” said Faye Loeza, Saul’s second daughter.

The Oregon Republican Party would not comment on Saul's case, but it told KATU federal agents are doing their job, stating, "It is about time that criminal illegal aliens leave the country whose kindness and generosity they abused by committing serious crimes. When some government official direct law enforcement authorities give a pass to or even try to prevent criminal illegal aliens from facing the full consequences of their actions, these official are derelict in their #1 sworn duty to ensure the peace and safety of the Oregon's citizenry.”

The Loeza family is set to meet Saul in Tacoma Saturday morning, and says it could cost up to $12,000 to bail him out. They’ve set up a GoFundMe page to help offset the legal fees.

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