Family shaken after ICE detains Albion man

Jul 17, 2019

Antonino Hernandez-Bautista left for work Tuesday morning. He would not be coming back.

About 8 a.m. Tuesday, a calm summer day with clear skies in Albion, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers pulled over and arrested Hernandez-Bautista and took him to a federal detention facility in Batavia, about 20 minutes away.

There, he called his wife, Lucila, to tell her where he was and what had happened. She has withheld her last name out of fear for her safety. After her husband was detained, four officers drove up to the house, she said, where she was with their 13-year-old daughter.

"They arrived and came down. They surrounded the house.” Lucila said in Spanish. “Later knocking at the windows and at the door, as though they wanted to force through the window. They couldn’t. And it was the same with the door and everything. Making a lot of noise.”

The glass pane on the front door of the house is seen broken next to the doorknob.
Credit Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News

For four hours, ICE officers remained, Lucila said, waiting in the unmarked cars they arrived in. The ICE officers threatened to come back for her and for her kids, she said.

“She’s not a terrorist or something like that for you to attack her the way she was attacked,” said Lucila’s cousin Librada Paz, a human rights advocate.

“I told her too bad she didn’t have a recorded video because that would show that they were violating the law by trying to force themselves to get into the house.” Paz added. “At least she got it all locked down.”

Lucila and her daughter said that they heard ripping sounds and banging when the officers were approaching the house. The window screens of the house are now ripped and show signs of impact, and the glass pane on the front door is cracked at the doorknob.

Family members and advocates with the Rochester Rapid Response Network, an advocacy group for undocumented immigrants in emergency situations, said the officers did not have a warrant.

“They say they did, that they had a warrant. But they didn’t -- they lied to us,” said Hernandez-Bautista’s nephew Cody Gomez.

Gomez arrived at the house later that morning. In a video taken by a Rapid Response Network member, four officers dressed in plain clothes address Gomez, one handing him an order of supervision with a court date for Lucila.

The notice, the officer told Gomez, means Lucila is to remain at the house -- but no one feels safe there anymore. The officers then got in their cars and left.

The window screens are seen ripped and blowing in the breeze. Lucila and her daughter said they heard ripping and banging as the officers circled the house.
Credit Noelle E. C. Evans

“We’re worried, we’re scared because we don’t know if they’re going to come back again,” Lucila said. “They already know where we live. The truth is that we’re scared right now.”

Lucila said she is now looking for a lawyer. She and her husband have been living in the U.S. for about 17 years, working and raising kids, who were born in the U.S. The two came from Mexico, from a place where Lucila said there were no jobs.

ICE said that Hernandez-Bautista “was specifically sought as part of a targeted enforcement action.”

In a statement sent to WXXI News, an ICE spokesperson said, “Hernandez-Bautista is a repeat immigration violator, who has been allowed to voluntarily return to his home county on four prior occasions. He will remain in ICE custody, pending removal from the U.S.”