O'Neill school houses children after ICE raid

O'NEILL, Neb. (KSNB) - After the ICE raid in O'Neill Wednesday, the community is taking action to help the families of the immigrants affected by the raid.

ICE officials served search warrants at 13 locations, several of which were in O'Neill, and arrested about 130 people.

One of the places searched was O'Neill Ventures, a tomato plant on the northwest side of O'Neill.

After officials with O'Neill Public Schools heard about the raid, they knew they had to do something to help.

O'Neill Elementary School opened its doors at 11 a.m. to provide a safe place for the children of those immigrants taken during the raid.

The kids were kept busy with crafts, ipads and snacks until they could be picked up by family members.

"Many of these families have been in our district many years," said Amy Shane, the superintendent of O'Neill Public Schools. "They're good people. Their kids come to school everyday with their homework done, and they're supportive of our school so we'll be there to support them as well."

When people in the area heard about the raid at O'Neill ventures, they decided to hold a rally at the Holt County courthouse to protest.

There were about 80 people protesting.

"I don't think people realize how much this truly affects our community, and how much it's going to change our livelihood, and how successful and vibrant we are as a community," said Kendra Vanderbeek, a protester. "And it's important to let people know that this is a big deal, and this is affecting tons of families and businesses in the area. And it's not okay to treat people like they're not people."

Shane added other staff members at the school have taken the remaining children to their homes, and are waiting for them to be picked up by family members.