Woman arrested by ICE in front of children

Frederick Owens
March 11, 2018

When asked on Twitter for more details about the alleged transnational smuggling organization, the San Diego-area Border Patrol's official account responded that it could not release more details "as this is part of an active investigation". He is an attorney representing Perla Morales-Luna, the woman arrested in the video.

The woman, Perla Morales-Luna, was nabbed by agents last week while walking with her daughters, according to videos of the arrest posted on Facebook Thursday.

The Border Patrol says Morales-Luna was identified as an organiser for a transnational criminal smuggling organisation and was arrested for being in the country illegally. They said she was not a low-level cartel flunky but was "intimately involved" in human smuggling operations, which made her a priority target for agents.

Meanwhile, the daughters are staying with a family member.

Her lawyer Andrés Moreno II says she's been in the country since she was 15 and her children are US citizens.

The Border Patrol transferred Morales-Luna to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody Friday for deportation proceedings, said agency spokeswoman Lauren Mack.

"When I heard the screams of the daughters, I felt sadness, I felt frustration, and then I was infuriated", Sotelo-Solis told CBS8.

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"She's never been arrested for anything as far as we can tell, so we're at bit of a loss as to why they're alleging the alien smuggling issue", Moreno continued.

During subsequent telephone conversations with federal agents, Morales-Luna repeatedly refused to turn herself in, according to the CBP statement.

"Where is she going?" one of the daughters asked after the vehicle disappeared.

"The video clearly shows (that) the arresting agents carried out their duties appropriately, even when faced with a barrage of insults and confrontational agitators", the memo asserts.

Several Border Patrol sources said Ms. Morales was being mistakenly portrayed. Therefore, once she was in custody, agents immediately departed the area. The aggressive way in which the agents detained the woman, in front of her children, underscores immigration authorities' "violent" methods of taking people into custody, advocates say.

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