LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez was welcomed as a person of honor in downtown Los Angeles Thursday, less than 24 hours after his emotional release from an ICE immigration facility.
The 49-year-old father of four rocketed to instant celebrity after his daughter Fatima captured cell phone video in February, as her dad was taken into custody by immigration agents while on his way to drop his daughter off at school.
Avelica-Gonzalez was released Wednesday after a judge removed a deportation order
“I’m very happy, thanks for your support,” he told the crowd speaking in Spanish
He faced news cameras to voice his support for SB-54, a senate bill that would restrict the amount of cooperation local law enforcement can have with federal immigration agents.
On Aug. 11, the Board of Immigration Appeals tossed out the deportation order for González, who was arrested by ICE agents. He had remained in ICE custody, however, pending Wednesday’s hearing.
Gonzalez is originally from Nayarit, Mexico, and has been living in the United States since the 1990s. His four children are U.S. citizens.
His attorney admits Gonzalez came to this country illegally, and had past convictions for DUI and misdemeanor theft. But he says Gonzalez doesn’t pose an immediate threat, and that’s why he pushed for him to be released on bond.
“Made no sense. It was an example of the aggressive tactics taken by the DHS and Trump administration,” Alan Diamante said.