A video of a woman named Perla Morales-Luna getting arrested by Border Patrol agents in California while her daughters look on has sparked outrage after it spread across social media.
The video shows Morales-Luna, who authorities publicly identified, getting pushed into a border patrol vehicle on March 3 while her children watched in National City, California. Teaching aide Judith Castro-Gonzalez posted the video to Facebook on Thursday, according to CBS Los Angeles, reportedly stating that one of Morales-Luna’s daughters was her student. Subsequently, the video quickly made the rounds on social media.
The San Diego branch of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said that Morales-Luna was arrested because she was involved in a smuggling operation and was in the country illegally. A spokesperson for Border Patrol told the Los Angeles Times that Morales-Luna will be transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to start removal proceedings.
The arrest has raised questions about the way authorities were treating Morales-Luna. Benjamin Prado, coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee’s San Diego U.S.-Mexico Border Program – which the Los Angeles Times says is a human rights group working with Morales-Luna’s family – told the paper it was a “grotesque” way of enforcing immigration law.
“It is very quickly accelerating to a very tyrannical form of detention and arrest, snatching people up off the street,” Prado told the Los Angeles Times.