It wasn’t a typical morning for 12-year-old Fatima Avelica as she watched the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detain her undocumented immigrant father as he was about to drop her off at school Tuesday.
She recorded her father, Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, a 48-year-old Mexican native living in Los Angeles, California, while he was being picked up by the agents a few blocks away from her charter school in Pasadena, attorney Emi MacLean told the New York Daily News.
The father of four U.S.-born children had been in the country for more than 25 years.
“It’s really hard what we’re going through,” Avelica-Gonzalez’s other daughter Brenda Avelica told ABC 7. “I never thought we’d actually go through something like this. It’s terrible to feel and see your family being broken apart.”
ICE agents immediately informed Avelica-Gonzalez’s family while they took him to a nearby detention center that he was expected to be deported the very same day.
“Think about the horrific nature of that situation,” said MacLean, a staff attorney for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). “It’s been really devastating for the family.”
NDLON fought for Avelica-Gonzalez, who was transported to a different detention center outside of Los Angeles, to remain in the states for a little while longer. It was a “small victory,” MacLean told the New York Daily News.
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