Supporters Rally for Release of LA Father Detained by ICE - NBC New York
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Supporters Rally for Release of LA Father Detained by ICE

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    Rally for Immigrant Father Taken in Front of Daughters

    A rally was held in support of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, a father who was arrested last week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ted Chen reports for the NBC4 News at 5 on Monday, March 6, 2017. (Published Monday, March 6, 2017)

    Family, friends and supporters who were trying to stop the deportation of a father who was taken by ICE agents while driving his daughters to school rallied in downtown Los Angeles Monday.

    Supporters of the father of four were hoping that keeping their voices loud, and putting continuous pressure on Immigration and Customs Enforcement would keep the man from being deported.

    They gathered in Pershing Square chanting, "Shut down ICE! Shut down ICE!"

    Romulo Avelica Gonzalez was apprehended by ICE agents last Tuesday. He has lived in the U.S. for more than 25 years.

    ICE agents detained him as he was dropping off his 12- and 13-year-old daughters at school in Highland Park. One of his daughters captured video of the moment he was taken into custody

    "That's why we are here - to be strong for him and as a community we can do big things," his daughter Jocelyn said. "We're not leaving. We're bigger than Trump. We're bigger than ICE - all of us together."

    In a statement ICE said Gonzalez was arrested because of multiple criminal convictions. NBC4 learned that those convictions include one DUI, other vehicle code violations, and an outstanding removal order.

    "Whether it's the state of California or whether it's the United States, they should always consider the best interests of children when they take action," said immigration attorney Alan Diamante.

    The protesters demanded ICE agents stay his deportation order or at least release him on bond so he can fight it.

    "God is on the side of justice. God stands with those who have been oppressed and marginalized. God stands with Romulo and his family," supporter Francisco Garcia said.

    Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    [NATL] Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations,” testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee during a hearing on whether the United States should consider compensation for the descendants of slaves. 

    He delivered a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments that "no one currently alive was responsible for that," which Coates called a "strange theory of governance." 

    "Well into this century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of civil war soldiers," he said. "We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens and this bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach."

    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)

    Family members were waiting to see when Gonzalez's deportation hearing would be. That has yet to be determined.

    He was still being detained by ICE at its facility in Adelanto.