LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Immigration activists Thursday worked to halt the deportation of an undocumented immigrant who they say was detained by ICE this week while dropping his daughters at school in Highland Park.
Rómulo Avelica-González, 48, had dropped his 13-year-old daughter at school on Tuesday when he was pulled over by immigration agents while his wife and 12-year-old daughter were still in the car, advocacy group NDLON says.
“I cried,” daughter Brenda Avelica said. “It’s not easy to see your father in that situation and getting taken away.”
The detention took place about a half-mile from any school, an ICE spokesman told Hoy.
Avelica is originally from Nayarit, Mexico, and has been living in the United States since the 1990s. At one point, he hired an immigration lawyer who promised to help him gain legal residency, but the lawyer never followed through, according to Hoy. He has a nearly decade-old DUI conviction, according to LAist.
His four children are U.S. citizens.
“It would destroy our family,” Brenda said. “It would impact us horribly. We would have to figure out how to live a different life, after we’re used to living as a whole family together, united always.”
Activists are circulating a petition in an effort to convince immigration authorities to allow Avelica to stay in the U.S. They say California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis are reaching out to ICE to help their cause.