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Officials: ICE agents arrest alleged domestic abuse victim in court

EL PASO, Texas- Officials in Texas are upset after ICE agents arrested an alleged domestic violence victim inside an El Paso courthouse.

County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal told KFOX that the woman arrested was a victim of domestic violence and had filed three reports about the alleged abuse.

The most recent case involved her partner allegedly chasing her with a knife.

On Feb. 9, the woman was in court to receive a protective order when she was detained by agents with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Bernal told KFOX the agent sat through the proceedings and arrested the woman when the proceeding ended. She says the agents received a tip that the woman would be in court that day.

“I’m suspicious that the tip may have come from the abuser, who knew precisely where the victim would be at that time and date since he had received notice to be in that courtroom as well,” Bernal said.

District Attorney Jaime Esparza says he is concerned the arrest “sent a horrible message to victims of domestic violence.”

According to the arrest affidavit, the woman was removed from the United State six times and voluntarily returned to Mexico during another incident.

Her criminal history includes convictions for false imprisonment, assault, probation violation, domestic violence, false imprisonment-minor-parental and possession of stolen mail.