Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, a 48-year-old Mexican who has lived in the United States for 27 years, was arrested on Tuesday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) near his children's school located in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Virginia Kice, ICE spokesperson, confirmed to ABC News that Avelica-Gonzalez was taken into custody on Tuesday during a vehicle stop by officers with the agency's Los Angeles-based fugitive operations teams.
13-year-old Fatima Avelica filmed her father being arrested by immigration officers while they were on their way to school earlier this week.
Authorities said Avelica-Gonzalez was arrested because of a 2009 conviction for driving under the influence and had an outstanding deportation order against him dating back to 2014. When he did, the officers immediately arrested him with his 13-year-old daughter and wife still in the auto. Although the officials were from ICE, their jackets said "police" on them.
One moment, her father was dropping her off at school.
The executive director of the school attended by Avelica-Gonzalez's eighth grade daughter has expressed solidarity with her family after she came to school in tears.
An ICE "Sensitive Locations" policy memo, which designates schools and other sensitive locations as off-limits to detentions, was first issued in 2011 and has not yet been rescinded by Trump's administration. He was convicted of a DUI almost 10 years ago, purchased a auto with the wrong registration sticker on it more than 20 years ago. The practice is technically legal, but Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti released a letter urging ICE agents not to identify themselves as police. "We have to be strong", a woman, believed to be her mother, says in the background. "Misleading practices like these undermine the good faith and spirit of cooperation that is so integral to our city's safety and security", Garcetti said in a statement to LAist.
U-visas were created to help victims of crime, those who have suffered mental or physical abuse or those who have helpful law enforcement and it is not known why Mr Avelica-Gonzalez would be eligible for one. "And how do we move forward?' We want to be able to find resources to help this family go through this process".