“ot.n ou areyAvelica-Gonzalez, a citizen of Mexico, has lived in the U.S. for 25 years. His four daughters — the other two ages 24 and 19 — were all born in the U.S.
He has two prior criminal convictions, said Emi MacLean, an attorney for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. The organization put out a call to action the day he was arrested, asking supporters to tell ICE not to deport him.
MacLean said Avelica-Gonzalez was convicted of misdemeanor, DUI and misdemeanor driving without a license in 2008. Another misdemeanor conviction, in 1998, was for receipt of stolen property when he bought a non-DMV-issued vehicle registration tag. Before 2015, immigrants living in California illegally could not get driver’s licenses.
In 2013, Avelica-Gonzalez filed paperwork with a “notario.” In Latin America, “notarios publicos” are qualified lawyers. In the U.S., people posing as notarios lack licenses and training and prey on immigrants.
The notario ran off with Avelica-Gonzalez’s paperwork and money, MacLean said, and he ended up with an order of deportation.
Avelica-Gonzalez is being held at the Adelanto Detention Facility near Victorville. His attorney filed an emergency stay of removal, preventing his immediate deportation, with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and expects a decision next week.
Despite Trump’s statements about mass deportations, the president’s actual immigration policies remain unclear.
Last month, his administration swept aside nearly all restrictions on the removal of 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, a vast expansion of the federal government’s deportation priorities. But there have been mixed signals from the White House over the scope of deportations and who would be covered by them.
Trump supporters and others applaud his administration’s measures, arguing that immigrants here illegally are a drain on the economy and take jobs away from citizens.
But immigration rights advocates say actions like the Avelica-Gonzalez arrest send a chilling message.
“The bigger issue is this really terrorizes the school community and these families if you think you run the risk of being deported,” MacLean said.
Brenda Avelica, 24, said her life has been turned upside down. She worries about how her mother and sisters will get by. Her father brought in the family’s only income from his job at a restaurant, she said.
“He came to this country for us,” she said.