Video of woman's immigration arrest sparks outcry, response from Border Patrol

11 March, 2018, 01:30 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Mom! one of the daughters screamed while one of the agents shouted at her mother'Get in the car

The arrest by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, who claim the woman was part of a criminal smuggling ring, took place last Saturday, five days before the footage of the encounter began garnering widespread attention on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

CBS News contacted three federal agencies Friday, but none of them said whether criminal charges would be filed, but because Morales-Luna is in the country illegally - which is a crime - the US can deport her without disclosing a reason. He is an attorney representing Perla Morales-Luna, the woman arrested in the video.

Perla Morales-Luna was arrested Saturday in National City, Calif., near San Diego, on a busy street corner about a block away from a local high school.

As the difficult-to-watch video spread online Thursday, CBP accused Morales-Luna of being the "organizer for a transnational criminal smuggling organization in East County, San Diego" in a tweet.

It shows Morales-Luna struggling with Customs and Border Protection agents as her screaming daughters look on. She has arranged for her sister to care for her three daughters, aged 17, 15 and 12.

Still, many people questioned the tactics used in the arrest and wondered why Morales-Luna was arrested for being in the country illegally and not for the far more serious smuggling crimes alleged by the Border Patrol.

Morales-Luna is in Border Patrol custody and is awaiting transfer to ICE for deportation.

Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, a National City Councilmember, said she felt "sad" and "infuriated" when she saw the video. The Justice Department is suing the state of California for laws it says unconstitutionally protect undocumented immigrants. At least one person can be heard crying uncontrollably as agents forced her into a vehicle and drove away. Therefore, once she was in custody, agents immediately departed the area.

An attorney representing a woman whose arrest by border patrol agents has gone viral said his client has "no idea" why officials are saying she is involved in a major criminal smuggling operation.

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