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Very Real

Mother Ripped Away from Children On The Street By Border Patrol

A woman walking on the street with her daughters to pay rent was targeted and forcibly taken by Border Patrol. Then the video went viral.

By Aditi Kini

Yesterday, two chilling videos of Border Patrol agents stopping a family in the middle of the street were widely shared on Twitter. The agents are seen forcibly taking the mother away from her children to a patrol vehicle; two were plain-clothed, the other uniformed. The order “Get in the car!” resounds over the screaming in the background.

After sparking outrage about this upsetting scene, the US Customs & Border Protection of San Diego released a statement about the young woman in the video, identified by CBP San Diego as Perla Morales-Luna:

If Morales-Luna were in fact involved in a "transnational criminal smuggling organization," some want to know why she hasn’t been charged yet:

CBP San Diego responded to this Twitter user’s question—by copy+pasting the statement from the first tweet again.

Morales-Luna’s lawyer, Andrés Moreno II, said that Morales-Luna had no history of criminal behavior, and is the single parent to three daughters who are US citizens. "It’s not right that she’s been separated from her family as a result of simply being here illegally,” Moreno said of his client, who has been in the United States since she was 15 years old.

"What was posted I think really showed the inhumane treatment of that woman being physically ripped from her children and then leaving the minor children here on the street not knowing what to do," said Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, National City Councilwoman, according to NBC San Diego.

Immigration detention is no hotel stay—and according to last week’s Supreme Court ruling, people are not entitled to bond hearings, so they can be detained indefinitely. As the private prison industry makes a comeback—60% of immigration detention centers are privately run—we can only anticipate what may come next.

(Photo: Screenshot of Twitter video posted by Luis Gomez)