ICE Tracks Down Mexican Immigrant Who Spoke Out About His Girlfriend’s Deportation to Reporters

“You are the one from the newspaper,” is what an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent told Baltazar “Rosas” Aburto Gutierrez as he drove one morning to get coffee and eggs.

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Gutierrez, 35, recounted his longtime girlfriend, Gladys Diaz, arrest by immigration agents after she answered an online ad for homemade piñata. However, he was not mentioned by name in The Seattle Times story and was only mentioned by nickname in the Chinook Observer story.

When asked why he was being arrested an agent responded, “My supervisor asked me to come find you because of what appeared in the newspaper.”

The Seattle Times spoke on the phone with Gutierrez, who is currently at Northwest Detention Center with a $25,000 bond. Gutierrez, who does not speak fluent English said he understood it had to do with his longtime girlfriend’s arrest in June who has since been deported.

ICE spokesperson Lori Haley, declined to further comment on the arrest other than to say that they “we don't retaliate.” 

However, Matt Adams, legal director from Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, said there might be grounds for exploring whether ICE’s actions violated Aburto Gutierrez’s right to free speech for speaking to the press.

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The Seattle Times also spoke to Diaz, who in between sobs explained that she and their two American born children depended on the money that Gutierrez sent them.