Video of border agents' arrest of mom in National City sparks outrage

Posted March 11, 2018

She was arrested by plain clothes agents on March 3 as part of a targeted operation for being in the country illegally, US Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.

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.

CBP officials did not respond to criticism of the way Morales-Luna was detained and did not clarify what type of smuggling she is suspected of.

Perla Morales-Luna and her two daughters were walking to pay their rent in National City in San Diego County when the agents moved in.

In the video you can hear sounds of her three young daughters, all USA citizens screaming as she was taken away.

A protest is planned Friday morning outside City Hall offices in National City a day after a video began circulating on social media showing a mother being snatched off a National City street and hauled away by federal authorities in front of her frantic, crying daughters.

Morales-Luna remains in border patrol custody awaiting transfer to I.C.E for deportation.

Video of border agents' arrest of mom in National City sparks outrage
National City woman detained by Border Patrol on suspicion of organizing transnational criminal smuggling operation

However because she's illegally in the US, she can be deported without disclosing a reason.

"It's not right that she's been separated from her family as a result of simply being here illegally", Moreno said.

"When I heard the screams of the daughters, I felt sadness, I felt frustration, and then I was infuriated", Sotelo-Solis told CBS8. One of the officers hands her daughters the keys to their home before driving away with their mother. The Justice Department is suing the state of California for laws it says unconstitutionally protect undocumented immigrants.

"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.

Video of the woman being pulled from her daughters on March 3 in National City, a San Diego suburb, drew almost 10 million views on Facebook by Friday afternoon.

Several Border Patrol sources said Ms. Morales was being mistakenly portrayed.

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