As rumors of an immigration raid Tuesday swirled around Jessamine County, some residents expressed fear about leaving their homes, and three Mexican restaurants were closed for the day.
Several city officials in Nicholasville acknowledged that they’d heard talk of a raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at a Mexican restaurant in town, but none had been contacted by federal authorities.
WKYT reported Tuesday night that Nicholasville police confirmed ICE performed an operation earlier in the day.
Three Mexican restaurants, Fiesta Mexico, Los Dos Amigos and El Potrillo, were closed Tuesday night. The hours posted for restaurant indicated that they would normally have been open.
Angela Esparza works at La Chiquita grocery, a few doors down from Los Dos Amigos restaurant. She said the grocery, which her family operates, had seen a decline in foot traffic Tuesday.
“A lot of Hispanics are scared to be out,” Esparza said.
Some customers have called and asked her to deliver their purchases, she said.
“I am making deliveries. I’ll be more than happy to help. I have to help my community the best that I possibly can.”
“Hopefully it’s today and everything will go back to normal,” Esparza said.
Multiple attempts to get confirmation or denial of the raids were unsuccessful Tuesday afternoon.
Nicholasville police spokesman Sgt. Scott Harvey said local police hadn’t been notified of any federal immigration raids in the area.
Nicholasville Mayor Pete Sutherland said he’d heard that two restaurants and a car wash were closed, but he couldn’t confirm those reports.
Earlier this year, ICE detained more than 100 people in raids in Kentucky and Indiana, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Last summer, 49 people were arrested in one round of operations in Kentucky, with 12 detained in Lexington.
Reporter Greg Kocher contributed to this report.