Fury Erupts Over Viral Video of Mom Being Dragged From Daughters by ICE Agents
On a Saturday afternoon, a terrifying scene unfolded in a suburban California neighborhood. An SUV screeched to a stop in the middle of an intersection. Several armed men jumped out, grabbing a woman off the sidewalk, dragging her towards the open rear door of the vehicle, yelling at her to “Get in the car!” Once she was pushed inside, the men jumped back in and the SUV sped away. Her screaming and terrified family (including three daughters) were left standing on the curb. The police are not looking for suspects, though. The white and green SUV bore the logo of the United States Customs and Border Patrol, and what happened to Perla Morales-Luna is standard procedure now under Attorney Jeff Sessions’ ramped-up immigration enforcement policies.
Immigration debate rages as ICE drags MOM away from Her CHILDREN
The Justice Department filed suit this week challenging California’s “sanctuary cities,” a move Governor Jerry Brown likened to an act of war. While National City, where the abduction-like incident occurred, is not designated a “sanctuary city,” they identify themselves as a “compassionate community.” The local government supports SB 54, the non-cooperation law targeted by the Justice Department in the suit.
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Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco said Morales-Luna was identified by agents as an organizer for a transnational drug smuggling organization. He could not, however, provide any details of her alleged involvement or explain how she came to be suspected. He did add that she was being held on suspicion of being in the country illegally. If in the country illegally, Morales-Luna will be transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.
Benjamin Prado, a coordinator for a human rights group working with the Morales family, accused the federal agents of going beyond what should be acceptable in America.
“It’s really a grotesque way of detaining and enforcing immigration law. It is very quickly accelerating to a very tyrannical form of detention and arrest, snatching people up off the street. Our biggest concern is the manner in which this raid took place, the violent manner in which they detained her and pushed her in, the terror and trauma that is being imposed on the children, her daughters.”
No word yet on what charges, if any, Morales-Luna is facing but Niels Frenzen of the USC Gould School of Law Immigration Clinic believes the allegations of ties to a transnational drug smuggling cartel could have simply been made for the Border Patrol agents to justify the stealth and force used in her apprehension.
Featured image composite by Reverb Press, via Judith Castro-Rangel, Facebook.