Illinois town in Trump territory backs detained immigrant

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WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois community that solidly backed President Donald Trump is rallying behind a Mexican restaurant manager who doesn’t have legal permission to live in the U.S. and has been detained.

Juan Carlos Hernandez Pacheco has been the manager of La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant in roughly 8,000-person West Frankfort for a decade. He’s in custody at an Immigration Customs and Enforcement facility outside St. Louis after his Feb. 9 arrest.

Hernandez came to the U.S. in the 1990s but didn’t obtain legal status. ICE officials note past drunken-driving convictions.

Town residents are writing letters in support, including the mayor and police chief. They deem Hernandez a role model, praising his robust civic involvement.

An aggressive immigration stance is central to Trump’s agenda, including promises to deport millions of illegal immigrants.

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