Barbara Jackson had seen enough.
“With the events happening Wednesday, a lot of people were quick to jump the gun, and we didn’t have the facts.”
After last Wednesday’s ICE raid in her hometown of O’Neill, Jackson said she was disappointed by the reactions of some in her town, so she took to Facebook, thanking ICE in a post that has since gone viral, having been shared well over 800 times as of Sunday evening.
Jackson said the post represented a vocal minority in O’Neill, who have felt betrayed by one of their own.
“This was a family we trusted that had been there for years. To find out that he was running these people through our town and making money off of them is scary.”
Jackson says in O’Neill, like so many other small town, everyone knows everyone – and more importantly cares about everyone. She says that was reflected in the ways the community came together in the past week, including the O’Neill school district opening its doors to the children caught up in the aftermath of last week’s raid.
“They did what they felt was right – protecting these kids. Because it’s not the children’s fault. At all. Our hearts broke for all of them.”
Jackson says O’Neill is a great town, but that it could be feeling the negative affects of this could be felt for some time.
“Nobody wants to see anything negative come of this, but…I don’t know.”
In the meantime, she says she’s supporting the efforts of the federal government, and said she’s joined by many in applauding the efforts of ICE to rid the town of people hiring workers illegally.
FULL TEXT OF JACKSON’S POST BELOW:
“I haven’t seen one post from anyone in this town about being thankful that our community is safe again, thanking ICE and law enforcement for doing their JOB! What was going on in O’Neill was absolutely horrible. Human trafficking was taking place amongst other crimes that may or may not ever be reported. This family that we trusted here was taking advantage of his own people. Why aren’t these families pissed about this?!? It absolutely sucks that some families had to be torn apart and that some innocent were caught up in this. But a lot of these people arrested knew exactly what they were doing to help this man, Juan Pablo, to continue with his “pimp” work. This had to be stopped! I am praying that families will be reunited and I pray that the laws will be changed so that becoming a citizen is a heck of a lot easier than it is now. We have to look at the big picture. This major “hub” here in O’Neill is just one of many in the US. We should thankful that ICE is busting these horrible people who are human trafficking. These people that came over here under Juan knew exactly what they were doing and took that risk. If anyone should be angry, be angry at this family that we trusted for so many years, the family that has made millions off of illegal immigrants that he “owned”. I guarantee this wasn’t the only thing he was making money from. I hope the managers of these businesses are found guilty as well. They knew damn well that they were getting these employees (illegal immigrants) through Juan. They are just as guilty for allowing this crime to continue in our community. Again, my heart does go out to the families separated right now, but I am also very thankful ICE did their job and stopped this from continuing here in O’Neill.”