At the August 12 Simi Valley City Council meeting, after Councilmember Litster low-key chastised Ruth Luevanos over her false claim that there had been ICE raids at the Vallarta Supermarket and that the popular store was now a "ghost town," Luevanos doubled down, changed a few elements of her story, and continued to lie.
Two weeks ago I was very startled and worried for a local business, to hear that there have been potential ICE raids. I have heard that that is not the case, and I think that's debilitating to that business and to those who shop there. And if there was misinformation, I do think an apology should be made where appropriate. I think we try to be a truthful body, and that's my encouragement. If there is an apology that needs to be made..."
In reply, Luevanos changed her story somewhat, but maintained that there had been an ICE raid - essentially calling Vallarta management liars.
Watch her comments here:
"I do have -- you know, I do have friends that are immigration attorneys. I practiced -- you know, I was -- I was in immigration law over 20 years ago when I was in law school, and many of my friends are still immigration attorneys.
"Due to attorney/client privileges they cannot come forth and state, but I do have an attorney who is a friend of mine who has stated that there were, in fact, ICE raids in the Vallarta vicinity and they are his clients. He cannot come here and say anything because that is an attorney/client privilege.
"So, you know, I -- I just wanted to respond in that manner, to clarify that there is verification but unfortunately due to client/attorney privileges they cannot come forth. And for safety, especially given the El Paso shootings that were aimed and targeted at Latino immigrants, he's even more fearful of coming forward."
This is in stark contrast to her comments at the July 29, 2019 meeting, where she said:
"If I may, Mayor Mashburn. I can give you just one instance. the manager of Vallarta supermarket told a friend of mine that last Friday there was an ICE raid right outside of Vallarta Supermarket and five immigrants were detained by ICE and arrested, and it has been a ghost town at Vallarta since then...I have also seen the ICE buses at the Shell gas station in the 18 years that I have lived here, several times....If you want confirmation, you can speak to the manager at Vallarta."