Immigration agents raid Shipley Do-Nuts

April 17, 2008 3:43:18 AM PDT
Federal agents rounded up dozens of suspected illegal immigrants at Shipley Do-Nuts warehouse in what was possibly the largest immigration raid in Houston this year.The pre-dawn raid happened at the warehouse on North Main. It was a well-coordinated pre-dawn raid. The building was surrounded and officials stormed the building with federal warrants.

It began at 5am and nearby resident Daniel Hudson saw it all unravel.

"I just saw all kinds of vans pulling up and running in that place and then all of the sudden they started hauling people out, throwing them in vans," said Hudson. "They won't answer any questions with anybody. They tell us it's none of our business and to get back. I saw them carrying out things that looked like file cabinets."

Dozens of unmarked customs vehicles along with a half dozen sheriff's in marked police cars descending onto Shipley Do-Nut warehouse without any reported resistance. The authorities also arrived with an ambulance and a helicopter overhead.

"I was wondering what it was and my little boy says 'there's a lot of police cars outside' -- so, we went outside because they have to catch the school bus," said neighbor Linda Hernandez.

What are presumed to be undocumented workers were seen handcuffed and led away to waiting vans. Published reports suggest that close to 30 people were arrested, some of whom live on site.

Susannah Martinez works at a cross guard and says many of the children she sees each day have fathers who work in that warehouse.

"The moms -- I don't know what is going to happen because they don't work and some of them are pregnant and I don't know how they are going to do it," said Martinez.

Officials on the scene refused to comment and phone calls to the Shipley's Do-Nut main office went unanswered. But neighbors say the business has been a quite unassuming place for years. Some seem to have mixed emotions about what happened this morning.

"I understand why people come over here illegally to better themselves," said neighbor Deborah Reasonover. "So, I don't know -- they are not hurting me any."

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have yet to respond on what prompted the raid.

In the meantime, several local groups who support immigration rights plan to gather today to protest this morning's raid.

- Headlines at a glance


Load Comments