Student says Benicia's 'La Migra' tradition involves racism and assault, some teens call it a game

A game is at the center of controversy in Benicia. It’s called "La Migra" and some students say it led to them being harassed and injured.

La Migra is the slang term for "ICE" - Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The older teens pretend to be the ICE agents and go around town trying to catch the younger students and freshmen who pretend to be immigrants trying to run.

Members of the community including the mayor, the police chief, district officials, and concerned parents gathered to discuss the game, and the dangers around it.

Benicia Police Chief Mike Greene said it causes problems every time it’s played.

"You have a bunch of kids wearing dark clothing, running around hopping fences, running in and out of traffic, doing dangerous things."

This meeting was called after a Liberty High School student said he was unaware of the game, and was targeted by other student while out with his girlfriend.

"It was something I had to live through for every second. 40 minutes where me and my partner Aly were terrorized, shot at, called slurs, and chased," said 16-year-old Z Chavez.

Chavez said they were leaving Double Rainbow ice cream in downtown Benicia the night of Friday, April 8 when two vehicles pulled up beside them. They were full of teenagers, who started shouting at them. Chavez said they used racial slurs, and fired pellets when they tried to walk away.

Chavez said, "I am disgusted, disgusted that within this town that I trusted, the town I have fallen in love with and serviced with my own hard work exists hate. A hate for people who look like me. A hate for people who look like my partner who is black."

Hakeem Brown, with NAACP Chapter of Vallejo and Benicia, said there should be no tolerance for this type of behavior. "This has been something that has been going on for a very long time and if you don’t address it, it will be going on either further."