The Latest: Attorney: Shocked by immigration arrest video
NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the Border Patrol’s arrest of a woman near San Diego that was recorded on video (all times local):
A lawyer for a woman arrested on immigration violations in the San Diego area says he’s shocked by video of Border Patrol agents tearing his client away from her crying children.
Attorney Andres Moreno II said Friday that his client, Perla Morales-Luna, was walking down a street in National City with her three daughters last week when agents dramatically pulled her away and drove her off.
Moreno says the single mother emphatically denies the Border Patrol’s allegation that she was an organizer of a transnational smuggling network.
Morales-Luna has not been charged with any smuggling crimes and the Border Patrol has offered no evidence of that.
The attorney says Morales-Luna came to the U.S. from Mexico at age 15 and he will fight her deportation.
Her children, ages 17, 15 and 12, are staying with family in the San Diego area.
Video of a woman being pulled away from her weeping daughters on a California street and shoved into a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle is drawing criticism of the manner in which federal agents are enforcing immigration laws.
The incident occurred March 3 in National City, a community south of San Diego.
The Border Patrol says Perla Morales-Luna was identified as an organizer for a transnational criminal smuggling organization and was arrested for being in the country illegally.
The arrest was described as “grotesque” by Benjamin Prado, coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee’s San Diego U.S.-Mexico Border Program. Prado tells the Los Angeles Times that he’s concerned about the “terror” the woman’s daughters suffered.
An attorney for Morales-Luna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.