Undocumented dad taken by ICE while dropping kids off at school
Mar 05, 2017, 00:31
The young girl, who was in the family's vehicle with her mother, can be heard sobbing as ICE agents handcuff and place her father into an unmarked auto.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, 48, away from his screaming daughter on February 28 for being an undocumented immigrant.
Since President Donald Trump's inauguration, scores of unauthorized immigrants have been detained and deported under his administration's hard-line immigration stand.
The incident was captured on the cellphone belonging to one of his daughters, 13 year-old Fatima Avelica. "When they arrested my dad he asked what he had done wrong and they told him to be quiet and handcuffed him".
The young girl recorded the whole ordeal from the backseat in a poignant video that has since gone viral.
In the video of his arrest, Avelica-Gonzalez's daughter Fatima can be heard crying inside the vehicle.
The National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON) is working to get ICE to halt the 48-year-old's deportation.
In a statement to the media, ICE says that Avelica was arrested because of "multiple prior criminal convictions, including a DUI in 2009, as well an outstanding order of removal dating back to 2014". His 13-year-old daughter and wife were in the vehicle, and his daughter began to tape the incident.
"Those are his criminal convictions in over 25 years in this country". It was a "small victory", MacLean told the New York Daily News.
"It is legal for ICE authorities to dress in police uniform, but may lead to constitutional violations when it comes to evidence gathered", Robinson added. The practice is technically legal, but Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti released a letter urging ICE agents not to identify themselves as police.
"They stepped over a line, and the ripple effect this could have on the community is frightening", said attorney Peter Greyshock of Diamante Law Group in Los Angeles, who is representing the family. According to Mic, the day of his deportation the charter school that two of his children attend held an assembly in solidarity with the family.
Ricardo Mireles, the executive director of the Highland Park charter school Academia Avance, told press that Avelica's DUI conviction occurred almost 10 years ago. "Today was the first time it was directly one of our families, so it just made real the fears that were already there".
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