Customs and Border Protection (CBP) San Diego arrested Perla Morales Luna on March 3, 2018 for being in the country without proper documentation. What would have been a routine arrest of an undocumented immigrant in San Diego's suburb of National City turned into a viral video that garnered mass outrage by locals.
On the video, you can see a handful of agents (both uniformed and not) grab the mother of three and forcibly push and shove her to their truck. Morales attempted to resist the agents by refusing to get into the truck, only for agents to shove her in. All the while, her daughters were yelling and crying, "MOM!" Agents then jumped into the vehicle and sped away with Morales.
Locals responded on social media with disgust for the agents taking a mother from her children and leaving them on the street. For all the agents knew, the children had no adult to tend to them.
CBP San Diego responded to the criticism by tweeting that Morales was an organizer of a smuggling operation:
Perla Morales-Luna was identified as an organizer for a transnational criminal smuggling organization operating in East County, SanDiego. She was arrested as a result of a targeted operation on March 3,2018, in National City for being in the country illegally.
— CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) March 9, 2018
But CBP never stated what she was smuggling or bothered to give any information about the allegations. The agency justified their removal of a mother from her children by stating that she was a danger to society, yet they never bothered to charge her with smuggling.
Turns out immigration judge Zsa Zsa Depaolo also found this odd. She then ordered the CBP to relese Morales on her own recognizance and found that she was in fact not a danger to society. Morales was also ordered to appear at a future date for a hearing in regards to determining her immigration status.
All of this could have occurred without the dramatic kidnapping scenario the CBP caused.
Once again, CBP made allegations that they could not prove in order to justify their policies. Expect to see more of these videos, and expect that the CBP will continue to lie without anyone bothering to hold them accountable for their actions.