Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained a legal resident in Los Angeles who has lived in the U.S. for nearly 50 years, his daughter said.
Jose Luis Garcia, 62, was detained by ICE agents outside his home in San Fernando Valley on Sunday morning while he was watering his lawn, The Mercury News reported on Wednesday.
His daughter, Natalie Garcia, told the newspaper that she woke up to the sound of her father yelling her name and found eight ICE agents arresting him.
“I didn’t know they were ICE at that moment,” Natalie Garcia said. “It just happened so fast and there were so many of them. I was so confused.”
Jose Luis Garcia was convicted on a misdemeanor charge 18 years ago related to a domestic violence dispute with his daughter’s mother, Natalie Garcia said, adding that her father completed his sentence.
“Databases reveal that Mr. Garcia has past criminal convictions that make him amenable to removal from the United States,” ICE said in a statement to The Mercury News. “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.”
Natalie Garcia said she has visited her father in the detention facility where he is being held.
“He is obviously devastated and in shock right now,” she said.
The arrest comes amid a Trump administration crackdown on immigration. Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions defends firing Comey, warns DOJ report could prompt more terminations President of Catholic bishops group calls policy separating migrant families ‘immoral’ Sessions moves to protect houses of worship from discrimination MORE announced earlier this week that the administration would no longer grant asylum to victims of gang violence and domestic abuse.