Jose Luis Garcia, a legal resident who has lived in the United States for nearly 50 years, was watering his lawn and having his morning coffee outside his California home when he was ambushed by eight Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who put him in handcuffs and detained him, 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 was shocked to see her father surrounded by ICE agents.
Mercury News notes:
Garcia tried to get more information and asked to see the arrest warrant and if they had read him his rights. She said the agents responded rudely, did not answer most of her questions, and told her they did not have to show her the warrant. They told her that it was not a criminal warrant, but an administrative one.
“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. She says her father had 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 currently being held.
“He is obviously devastated and in shock right now,” she said.