ICE placed Jose Luis Garcia, a legal resident of the United States for 50 years, in handcuffs.— Lance Arthur 🏳️🌈🇺🇸 (@thelancearthur) June 13, 2018
In front of his house.
While he was watering his lawn.
They'll deport him based on an 18-year-old misdemeanor conviction for which he completed his sentence. https://t.co/q8UxEy8HXZ pic.twitter.com/QgPbwz8wKq
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained a legal United States resident who has been in the country for the past 50 years.
Adding insult to injury, the whole traumatic ordeal played out in front of the man’s family, Splinter reports.
Jose Luis Garcia, 62, was having a typical morning at his Los Angeles residence. He was enjoying a cup of coffee and watering his lawn when agents showed up at his home and threw him in handcuffs around 7 a.m. on Sunday.
“I didn’t know they were ICE at that moment,” said Garcia’s daughter, Natalie. “It just happened so fast, and there were so many of them. I was so confused.”
She said she didn’t realize what had just unfolded before her eyes until after the agents were gone with her father.
“I asked for a warrant,” Natalie told reporters. “They had no warrant. They said it wasn’t a criminal offense, it was administrative. They had to take him. It was due to a domestic violence dispute back in 2001.”
Natalie told Mercury News that her dad had, indeed, been convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault almost 20 years ago, but he had already gone through the justice system and completed required anger management courses.
ICE issued a statement to Splinter confirming Garcia’s arrest and insinuating that he could be deported despite his legal residency.
“Mr. Garcia, a citizen of Mexico, was arrested Sunday by deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Databases reveal that Mr. Garcia has past criminal convictions that make him amenable to removal from the United States. Mr. Garcia is currently in ICE custody pending removal proceedings, where an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) will determine whether or not he has a lawful basis to remain in the United States.
ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, as ICE leadership has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”
When asked by Splinter why Garcia was picked up so many years after his conviction, ICE purportedly did not respond.
“He’s a taxpayer. He’s a homeowner. He’s been a homeowner,” Natalie said of her father. “He’s worked in the same job for more than 35 years.”
Clearly, none of that means anything to ICE or the federal government.
And it is likely that the answer to Splinter’s inquiry about the long gap between Garcia’s conviction and his arrest lies right inside the White House where President Donald Trump touts his hard-line stance on immigrants from “sh*thole” countries.