Employees at Sava’s, a popular restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, are in shock after three immigration enforcement officers sat down, ordered and ate breakfast, and then proceeded to arrest and detain three immigrant workers on Wednesday morning.
After eating their breakfast, the agents raided the restaurant’s kitchen — at first mistakenly arresting the wrong employee — and proceeded to detain three immigrant workers. Manager Bree Stilwell told the Daily Beast that all three men arrested had the proper immigration papers but did not have them at the restaurant that day.
Sava’s, like much of the culinary community across the United States, serves as a sort of sanctuary for immigrants.
“We work very hard to fully document and ensure the accuracy of our employees’ employment verification and information,” Stilwell told the Daily Beast. “Beyond that, even with the full legality of these employees, the level of fear is so elevated. It’s exacerbating what’s already a pretty nervous community.”
The three employees who were detained were eventually released.
“To see this happen in our own restaurant where we work hard to provide a safe and loving culture and environment is very sad,” Stilwell said.
In 2016, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 2,056 people from Michigan and Ohio, slightly more than half of whom had criminal convictions, according to MLive.