Dozens Rally Against Deporting Illegal Immigrant Father

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Dozens of people gathered outside the federal courthouse in Downtown  Los Angeles Monday rallying to keep an illegal immigrant father in the country.

Jocelyn Avelica’s words provided the emotional backdrop as she read a statement from her father on a loud speaker.

Romulo Avelica was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on March 2 in Highand Park after he dropped off one of his four daughters at school. His daughter recorded the arrest on her cell phone and the video went viral.

ICE officials say the 48-year-old restaurant worker was taken into custody because a removal order had been issued in 2014 calling for him to be deported.

Immigration sources say Avelica had three misdemeanor criminal convictions on his record, the most recent was a DUI.

“I cried,” daughter Brenda Avelica said. “It’s not easy to see your father in that situation and getting taken away.”

His supporters are calling for his release immediately so that he could be reunited with his family while his case is fought out in court.

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