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Activists Hold Press Conference After Mother Detained By CBP Agents

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March 9, 2018 1:44 p.m.

Protest Planned In National City Over Border Patrol Arrest Of Mother

GUEST:

Megan Burks, reporter, KPBS News

Related Story: Following Immigration Arrest Caught On Video, National City Residents Strategize To Protect Undocumented Neighbors

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

>>> IT'S FRIDAY, MARCH 9, OUR TOP STORY GOT PROTESTERS RALLY OUTSIDE CITY HALL TODAY TO DEMAND ANSWERS ABOUT THE ARREST EARLIER THIS MONTH OF A WOMAN BY THE US BORDER PATROL. A VIDEO TAKEN OF THE MARCH 3 ARREST ON THE STREET IN FRONT OF HER DAUGHTERS WENT VIRAL ON SOCIAL MEDIA. THE AUDIO MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME LISTENERS.
>> [ Audio Playing ]
>> U.S. BORDER PATROL SAYS MORALE IS WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY BECAUSE SHE WAS PART OF A SMUGGLING DEED. MEGAN BURKS WHO WAS OUT TODAY SHARES. WE JUST HEARD SOME OF THE SOUND FROM THE VIDEO THAT'S BEEN SPREADING ON SOCIAL MEDIA. CAN YOU TELL US WHAT THE VIDEO SHOWS.
>> IT SHOWS A CONFRONTATION OR INCIDENT WHERE BORDER PATROL SHOWED UP AS LUNA AND HER THREE DAUGHTERS WERE WALKING DOWN THE STREET TO DELIVER THEIR RENT CHECK. BORDER PATROL AGENTS ARE SHOWN PULLING THE MOTHER AWAY FROM THEIR DAUGHTERS. THEY'RE ALL TRYING TO HOLD HANDS AND THEY'RE PULLING HER AWAY AND I THINK THERE'S ABOUT TWO OR THREE OFFICERS PULLING HER AND PUTTING HER IN A CAR AND SPEEDING AWAY. THERE'S NOT REALLY MUCH -- YOU CAN'T SEE MUCH OF A BACK-AND-FORTH BETWEEN BORDER PATROL AND THE DAUGHTERS. THERE WAS A PIECE OF PAPER AND IT'S UNCLEAR IF IT WAS GIVING INFORMATION ABOUT WHERE THE MOTHER WAS GOING BUT THE VIDEO ENDS WITH THE GIRLS BEING LEFT ON THE CORNER AND PASSERSBY ARE IN SHOCK.
>> THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT REACTION TO THIS VIDEO INCLUDING TODAY'S PROTEST. WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD AND SEEN AT THE PROTEST.
>> THERE WERE SEVERAL COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS PRESENT. THERE WAS A MOTHER AND FATHER THAT WAS TAKEN IN THE MORNING WHILE THEIR KIDS WERE GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL LAST MAY AND THAT FAMILY HAS BEEN REUNITED. WHATEVER CHARGES THAT BORDER PATROL AT THAT TIME SAID THAT THE PARENTS WERE GUILTY OF ANGELA BEING UNFOUNDED. THEY ARE HERE TODAY TO TALK ABOUT IT. THERE WERE ALSO SPEAKERS WERE CALLING A NATIONAL CITY TO TAKE A MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN ASSISTING FAMILIES THAT ARE SEPARATED BY BORDER PATROL.
>> THERE IS A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE ARREST. WHAT ARE THE AUTHORITIES THINK ABOUT THEIR CONNECTION TO THE SMUGGLING RAKE.
>> THERE SAYING THAT SHE IS CONNECTED TO THAT SO THAT GIVES THEM REASON TO WANT TO DEPORT HER BUT SHE'S NOT BEEN CHARGED FOR ANYTHING RELATED TO A SMUGGLING RATE. SHE'S JUST BEING PROCESSED FOR BEING IN THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY. HER ATTORNEY WAS HERE AND SAID THAT LUNA ADAMANTLY DENIES THIS AND HE HAS GONE THROUGH AS MUCH AS HER HISTORY AND CAN'T FIND ANYTHING COME UP IN THE SYSTEM SHOWING THAT SHE HAS PAST CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. SHE SAID SHE HAS NEVER COMMITTED A CRIME SO THERE ARE NO CHARGES ON THE BOOKS. IT MAY BE THAT BORDER PATROL -- OR A CHARGE WILL COME UP LATER. IT LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE PROCESSING HER FOR DEPORTATION. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE OTHER FAMILY AS WELL. THEY WERE PUT IN DEPORTATION PROCEEDINGS AND THOSE ALLEGATIONS WERE UNFOUNDED.
>> WE HEARD THE CRIES OF HER DAUGHTERS AS LUNA WAS PUT INTO BORDER PATROL AND DRIVEN AWAY. HOW ARE HER DAUGHTERS BEING CARED FOR NOW.
>> THERE STAYING WITH AN UNCLE AND THEY ALSO HAVE A TEACHER THAT THEY ARE CLOSE WITH AND SHE IS ACTING AS A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE FAMILY. IT SEEMS LIKE THEY HAVE FOLKS RALLYING AROUND THEM TO SUPPORT THEM AND RIGHT NOW THEY ARE STAYING WITH THEIR UNCLE. THEIR MOTHER WAS TRANSFERRED THIS MORNING AND THE ATTORNEY IS STILL TRYING TO FIND OUT WHERE SHE IS GOING TO BE PLACED. INITIALLY THE SYSTEM SAID SHE WOULD BE TRANSPORTED TO ARIZONA. THE NOTICE IN THE SYSTEM DISAPPEARED SO IT COULD MEAN THAT SHE'S IN TRANSIT TO ARIZONA OR THAT SHE MAY BE STAYING LOCAL.
>> NATIONAL CITY HAS BEEN DEALING AS SOMETIME AS A WELCOMING CITY FOR IMMIGRANTS, WHAT IS THE LATEST ON THAT AND WHAT DO THOSE TERMS MEAN ?
>> IT'S DESIGNATED AS A COMPASSIONATE CITY AND WHAT THAT MEANS AND THE REASON THAT ACTIVISTS WANT CITIES TO DO THIS IS BECAUSE IT SAYING TO THE COMMUNITY THAT WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU AND WERE NOT GOING TO SHARE YOUR INFORMATION WITH BORDER PATROL AND IF YOU NEED FOOD STAMPS OR BASICALLY SAYING THAT WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU AND YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, IT GETS VERY FUZZY AND YOU SEE THIS IN THE FACEBOOK COMMENTS ON THE VIDEO AND PEOPLE THINK THAT THAT MEANS THEY ARE PROTECTED. THEY HEAR THE WORD SANCTUARY CITY OR THE NEWS ABOUT IT BEING A SITUATED CITY AND THEY THINK THAT IT MEANS ICE CAN'T COME HERE. IT MEANS THAT THE CITY ITSELF IS NOT GOING TO ASSIST THEM.
>> CAN YOU TELL US IF YOU KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN THE IMPACT OF THIS ARREST ON THE LARGER COMMUNITY ?
>> YOU CAN SEE IT IN THE FACEBOOK COMMENTS, PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT STEPPED UP IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT. THE VIDEO IS POSTED ON THE THIRD AND THEN IT STARTS MAKING ROUNDS YESTERDAY AND I SPOKE WITH TEACHERS WHO SAID THEY WERE GETTING CALLS FROM FAMILY MEMBERS WHO THOUGHT THAT IT WAS HAPPENING YESTERDAY AND THEY WEREN'T SURE IF THEY COULD PICK UP THEIR KIDS FROM A NEARBY SCHOOL. IT CREATES A RUMOR MILL ABOUT A NICE IS PRESENT. I SPOKE TO PEOPLE HERE TODAY SAYING THAT ICE HAS BEEN PRESENT FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS. ONE ACTIVISTS WHO WORKS WITH A ATTORNEY HERE SAID UNDER THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY USED TO GET CALLS FROM FAMILIES ONE OR TWO TIMES A WEEK AND NOW IT CAN BE AS MANY AS 15 TIMES A DAY. PEOPLE ARE SEEING THIS AND THEY'RE SEEING THE BORDER PATROL TRUCKS.
>> THANK YOU.