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Video of Mom's CBP Arrest in Front of Kids Sparks Outrage

A video that shows a woman being arrested in front of her three daughters on a National City sidewalk has prompted outrage on social media and within the local community.Perla Morales-Luna, 36, of Mexico was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Saturday near 24th and D streets in National City. Car Hits 2 Pedestrians in Heart of Balboa Park Video obtained by NBC 7 showed two men in plain clothing and a uniformed U.S. Border Patrol agent taking Morales-Luna into custody and placing her in the back of a CBP patrol vehicle. In the video, Morales-Luna’s three daughters can be heard sobbing and calling for “mom” as she was taken into custody.  Hundreds Without Gas Service in Mission Valley Play Waiting Game CBP said Morales-Luna was arrested for being in the country illegally. Agent Michael J. Scappechio said Morales-Luna has been arrested previously but would not confirm the charge. Scappechio said Morales-Luna was identified as part of a “criminal smuggling organization” in East County. Mission Valley Gas Leak: Who Is to Blame? Morales-Luna was in ICE custody Friday morning, according to her attorney, Andrés Moreno II.He said his client, who has been in the country since she was 15, is the single parent to three daughters who are U.S. citizens.Morales-Luna was on her way to pay her rent on Saturday when she was arrested in an immigration sweep. Moreno said she has no criminal record. “It’s not right that she’s been separated from her family as a result of simply being here illegal,” Moreno said.He added that being in the country without legal documentation is a civil matter in the courts, not a criminal one. National City Councilmember Alejandra Sotelo-Solis said she was alerted to the incident through social media comments and tags. When she heard the daughters’ screams she said she felt “sad” and “infuriated.” “This is actually one of our quarters where we have mass transit, so to have something like this go down, in the broad daylight, it really is concerning,” Sotelo-Solis said.”What was posted I think really showed the inhumane treatment of that woman being physically ripped from her children and then leaving the minor children here on the street not knowing what to do,” Sotelo-Solis said.One of Morales-Luna’s teenage daughters is a student at a Chula Vista charter school. When the school found out about Morales-Luna’s detainment, the school looked for ways to support the children, Sotelo-Solis said. Judith Castro, one of the daughter’s teachers, told NBC 7 she shared the videoon social media because she couldn’t believe a mother could be taken away from her children in that manner.”Honestly I couldn’t watch the whole thing,” Castro said. “Just seeing a mom being approached by agents who are dressed in civilian clothing, with no badges to be seen, and just literally dragging the mom away into the border patrol truck.”The daughters are staying with an aunt while their mother was in custody.Photo Credit: Facebook
Source: NBC San Diego

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