Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents executed search warrants in three central Iowa towns yesterday. Including Pella, Oskaloosa and Newton.
Residents in Newton are still buzzing about what happened at the Newton Family Restaurant.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials executed search warrants at the restaurant on Thursday.
Officials say out of the three locations, 18 people were arrested for immigration violations.
In newton the business is back up and running and for the mayor that's a good thing.
"It’s full at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they enjoy eating there so having it open again today is a good sign so we'll get through this," says Newton Mayor Chaz Allen.
I.C.E. officials say when they went to execute the warrants they weren't looking for immigration violations-but ran into them at those three locations.
They say a division of I.C.E., The Homeland Security Investigations Unit, was at the locations investigating a criminal matter, which is still on-going.
The criminal investigation which I.C.E. officials couldn't comment on is now being turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
But regardless of what happened, those in town are still surprised any workers were in violation at all.
"It's a popular local place, and I’ve never heard anything about there being people there who aren't documented, it's never come up in conversation,” says Shawn Walker of Newton.
The Mayor sees this as a one-time thing and is hoping the business is able to bounce back quickly.
"I believe it's a pretty isolated incident, the business is back up and running today and life will go on,” says Allen.
I.C.E. officials say it will be up to an immigration judge and court to decide if the 18 individuals taken into custody will be deported or not.