If you can hear this child sobbing as ICE hauls Rómulo Avelica Gonzalez away, and still feel Donald Trump’s “making America great again,” then you have surely lost your humanity. 13-year-old Fatima Avelica’s father was driving her to school at the Avance Charter School in Los Angeles when he saw a car with no license plates following him.
La Opinión reports suddenly another car pulled up in front of him and blocked his way. 24-year-old Brenda Avelica, the oldest daughter:
“They told him to get out of the car. My dad asked them, ‘What did I do to be stopped?’ And they said to him, ‘Shut up, you have a deportation order and get out of the car,’ and they took him down and took him away.”
ICE agents came and took Rómulo Avelica Gonzalez away in front of his wife and his weeping 13-year-old daughter, and left them by the side of the road. Luckily, Fatima had the presence of mind to capture the entire arrest on video and to then call her older sisters. 19-year-old Joselyn came and drove the car away, while Brenda took Fatima to school.
Brenda Avelica later told Jade Hernandez from ABC 7:
“It’s really hard what we’re going through. I never thought we’d actually go through something like this. It’s terrible to feel and see your family being broken apart.”
That’s right. The Republican Party, which claims to be all about “family values” is terrorizing solid, hard-working families across America. All because the GOP’s wealthy backers and corporate paymasters love the cheap, docile labor they get from undocumented workers. If they get legal status, they might get uppity and ask for a raise.
As for Rómulo Avelica Gonzales, he works in restaurants. The National Restaurant Association and other industry groups have, for obvious reasons, mostly opposed Donald Trump’s deportations.
Some, like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were once pro-immigration reform. But as always, they put their party before their principles and what’s good for our country. Now Rubio, whose parents emigrated from Cuba, is burbling about how immigration reform will be “difficult” but is “possible.” And given the mood of our current “unified Republican government,” any “reform” at this point is more likely to harm than help.
As has happened in other cases, Rómulo Avelica Gonzales got targeted by ICE for deportation because of an old DUI. There was also a mix up with the registration sticker on a car that the 48-year-old husband and father of four bought when he first came here 20 years ago. These are fairly common offenses that most of us don’t have in mind when we think of the word “criminal record.” Alas, ICE makes no such distinctions.
The four daughters were born here in the U.S. and are hence citizens. However, their mother’s reluctance to be named or talk with reporters raises the possibility that her immigration status is precarious as well. What are the two younger daughters going to do with no parents?
Academia Avance’s Executive Director Ricardo Mireles and others in the community have rallied around the family.
“I think the impacts are going to come in terms of, ‘Hey, how do we pay the rent? And how do we move forward?’ We want to be able to find resources to help this family go through this process.”
The Los Angeles Daily News adds Emi MacLean, an attorney from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) is also in contact with Rómulo Avelica Gonzales’s family. The family’s attorney, Peter Greyshock of Diamante Law Group, declared
“They [ICE] stepped over a line, and the ripple effect this could have on the community is frightening.”
He adds that his office has been getting over 20 calls a day since Donald Trump signed that executive order.
“They [the callers] ask ‘what do I need to know about?’ People are very afraid. There are clinics happening, workshops happening, every weeknight in L.A. just to inform people of their rights.”
Meanwhile, NDLON’s Facebook page informs us that Rómulo Avelica Gonzales is being held at a detention center in San Bernadino County. Greyshock is filing for a stay of deportation. You can help by donating to NDLON and signing this petition.
WATCH: Rómulo Avelica Gonzalez’s daughter weeps as ICE hauls him away for deportation.
Featured image: Courtesy of NDLON with video screen grab via ABC 7.