Protesters And Family Attempt To Reoccupy Home Of Recently Deported Mother; Police Respond In Riot Gear
CORRECTION: A judge had not handed ownership of the home to the Cardenas, instead they had filed for bankruptcy, which legally prevents any sale of the home until the bankruptcy proceedings are over.
Earlier this week Occupy L.A., foreclosure advocates, family members, and local community, gathered at the Southern California home of Blanca Cardenas to protest her recent eviction and deportation. Police responded in full riot gear, but in the end, there were no arrests made.
Protesters broke into the Cardenas home Tuesday evening demanding that Blanca Cardenas be returned to her family. She was arrested last week when she refused to leave her home. She and her husband had recently won ownership of their home from Bank of America. However, during the legal proceedings, the bank had sold the home to an investor. The investor declared a citizens arrest on Cardenas and LAPD took her into custody.
Police discovered Cardenas did not have proper immigration papers and turned her over to ICE. She is currently staying with relatives in Mexico. The judge ordered that she not return to the states for 20 years.
Carlos Marroquin, Homeowner Advocate:
Carlos Marroquin: "We wanted to make a statement, and we wanted to make sure that they have a day that they can come back, because they feel this house belongs to them. And they're going to have a day in court, and we're gonna make sure that his side of the story comes out, when he comes in court."
Cardenas leaves behind two children, including her one year old daughter. The toddler is currently in the care of relatives who have noticed a change in her demeanor and health since losing her mother to deportation.
Samuel and Gabriela, Relatives:
Gabriela: "Well, my uncle is Gerrado and he is married to Blanca, which is my aunt in law. And I'm really close to Gloria, she is a really nice little kid, I usually play with her. But now in these days she's feeling really sad and when she sees her mom on the television she screams "mom!" and it breaks my heart. It's sad."
Margot: "What do you think about the situation with Blanca?"
Samuel: "I'm scared and I"m sad."
Margot: "Why are you scared?"
Samuel: "Because I usually don't get situations with policemen."
Gabriela: "I'm scared because I heard she isn't going to come back in 20 years and I'll be 30 years because I'm 10 years now."
Margot: "So you are worried you are never going to see her again, or not until you are older?"
Gabriela: "Yes. and I'm scared that Gloria will only see her once a year."
LAPD responded to a phone call saying that someone was trying to break into the home. Several police cars surrounded the block, and at least 20 police officers were on standby, with a few in riot helmets. The captain ordered the protesters to leave the property or face possible arrest.
Captain Wittingham, LAPD: "Well as we can see, there is a lot of people here filled with emotions and they're concerned about the owner who was evicted from this house and wife eventually was deported under certain concerns, I understand the emotions that this filled, but they indicated that they want their day in court, we are prepared to give that, but I don't want a day in jail. And so we ask them to leave peacefully and I suspect that they will."
Margot: "If in the case they chose not to leave, what would they be arrested...what particular law would they be violating?"
Captain: "Well I don't anticipate it will come to that. If at the time if they refuse to comply, then whatever law is broken, then we'll take whatever appropriate action, but I don't anticipate it will come to that."
When further pressed, Captain Wittingtham was unable to clarify which laws would be violated if protesters stayed at the home. Ultimately, no arrests were made.
The family plans to fight the deportation in court and protesters are planning other events over the weekend to continue to put pressure on the bank and city.
Last month, San Francisco officials put out a foreclosure audit that showed that 84% of all foreclosures have fraudulent documentation or are illegal.
This is Margot Paez, signing off for InsightOut News. Goodbye.
Cross-posted at InsightOut News.
[Editors Note: Please welcome Margot Paez of InsightOut News. She will be stopping by when she can to share her great video reports to keep us up on the happenings in the Los Angeles area.]