A sobbing 13-year-old girl recorded the arrest of her undocumented immigrant father in Los Angeles shortly after a school drop-off, the latest deportation-related enforcement action to receive renewed scrutiny under the Trump administration.
Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez was arrested Tuesday morning for having a 2009 DUI conviction and an outstanding deportation order from 2014, according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Under Obama-era directives, ICE focused mainly on criminals and those who posed a threat to public safety, however, those have changed under President Trump, who signed executive orders putting practically any immigrant living in the US illegally at risk of deportation.
In the video, his daughter, Fatima Avelica, is sobbing as her father is put in a law enforcement vehicle in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.
“Don’t cry mama, don’t cry. We have to be strong," a woman, believed to be her mother, says in the background.
Brenda Avelica, told KABC that her father has been in the US for 20 years and has four children, two of them adults.
"It's really hard what we're going through," Brenda Avelica told KABC. "I never thought we'd actually go through something like this. It's terrible to feel and see your family being broken apart."
ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said in a statement that agents had conducted surveillance on Avelica-Gonzalez to confirm his identity and arrested him a half-mile from the school Academia Avance.
ICE said Avelica-Gonzalez is scheduled to be deported to Mexico.
Adolfo Flores is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Adolfo Flores at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.