Maria del Carmen Venegas was ready to give birth. She and her husband piled into the family van and headed to a San Bernardino, Calif., hospital Wednesday. But first, they stopped at a gas station.
Security video obtained by KCBS-TV in Los Angeles shows two SUVs blocking their vehicle as the couple tried to park. Venegas said Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents emerged from the vehicles and asked for their identifications. She pulled out her ID, but her husband, Joel Arrona, said he had left his at home.
Venegas told KCBS that agents asked her husband to get out of the vehicle. They searched the car for weapons, and the video shows two agents alongside Arrona with his hands cuffed behind his back.
An emotional Venegas is seen talking on a cellphone inside the gas station.
The mother of five drove herself to the hospital and had a healthy baby boy without her husband at her side.
Later, in a hospital bed holding the sleeping newborn, she recalled the confusion surrounding her husband’s arrest.
She said he had no criminal history, and never even had a traffic ticket.
“My husband needs to be here,” she told the TV station in Spanish. “He had to wait for his son for so long, and someone just took him away.”
The family is working on hiring an attorney to petition for Arrona’s release, KCBS reported.
On Saturday, ICE said Arrona remains in custody pending removal proceedings but offered no information or details of his arrest. In a statement, the agency said Arrona was a citizen of Mexico and residing in the U.S. without proper documentation.