FEATURING JONATHAN PEREZ – The video taped arrest of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez in Los Angeles has sent shock waves through Southern California’s immigrant community. Avelica-Gonzalez had just dropped his daughter off to school when his car was surrounded by two black, unmarked cars. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents then arrested the undocumented father of four while his family watched sobbing with fear and grief.
Days earlier 22-year old Daniela Vargas was also arrested just after she spoke at a press conference in Mississippi about her fears of being deported. Vargas had been registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program signed by President Obama. Vargas, her father, and her brother are all being held in detention in Louisiana ahead of deportation.
Such incidents have instilled a deep sense of fear among undocumented immigrants, particularly those in mixed-status families who worry about being separated from their children, parents, or siblings.
Jonathan Perez, Development Coordinator with the Immigrant Youth Coalition.