About 170 people attended a prayer vigil in Kenosha for a Racine student pastor recently arrested by immigration officials.
The vigil took place outside the Kenosha County Detention Center, 4777 88th Ave., where Betty Rendon and her husband, Carlos, are being held after being arrested last week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Rendon, who is from Colombia, was a minister at Emaus Evangelical Lutheran Church in Racine at the time. She was arrested at her home in the Chicago area on May 8.
According to a report in the Racine Journal Times, the details of Rendon’s arrest have shocked many people in the immigrant and religious communities.
According to Stephanie Mitchell, a parishioner at Emaus and a professor at Carthage College, ICE officers originally handcuffed Rendon’s daughter Paula Hincapie, who was taking her 5-year-old daughter to school at the time. ICE agents then drove her car back to the house to arrest Rendon, her husband and one other person.
According to Nicole Alberico, an ICE spokeswoman, both Rendon and Hincapie “were ordered removed by a federal immigration judge on May 22, 2008. On June 1, 2009, the Board of Immigration Appeals upheld the immigration judge’s removal order for Ms. Rendon-Madrid and Ms. Hincapie-Rendon.”
Hincapie, protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act, was released.
The Journal Times said it reached out to ICE for further clarification, but has not received further comment.
The vigil, organized by the Racine Interfaith Coalition, featured many people holding signs in support of Rendon.
“Justice does not start until we start standing up for what we believe is right,” The Rev. Prentiss Robbins Jr., a community organizer for the coalition, said. “We are standing united. We can no longer let these things continue. ... People are walking in and out of people’s life, and they just disappear, and nobody says anything about it.”