SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY (KRON) — A San Bernardino County man has reunited with his family after immigration officials put him in handcuffs and arrested him in front of his crying daughter.
He spent six months in jail and is now fighting the crackdown on illegal immigrants–and to stay with his children.
“It was a long battle, but we have him here,” daughter Brenda Avelica said. “It was all worth it.”
There were huge smiles as Romulo Avelica Gonzalez picked up his family after spending six months at a detention center in Adelanto.
“He loves his grandpa. He asked him as soon as he saw him, ‘Can you build me an obstacle course?’ Because he does everything with him,” Avelica said.
Gonzalez was arrested while he was dropping his daughters off at school.
His attorney says the video his daughter got of the arrest helped draw national attention to the case.
“Made no sense,” immigration attorney Alan Diamante said. “It was an example of the aggressive tactics taken by the DHS and Trump administration.”
Diamante admits Gonzalez came to this country illegally and had past convictions for DUI and misdemeanor theft.
But he says he doesn’t pose an immediate threat, and that’s why he pushed for the father to be released on bond.
“He’s been very much involved in the community, especially in the lives of his daughters,” Diamante said. “And if anything, he’s a model for the community.”
No final decision has been made on whether he’ll be able to stay in this country.
But his family is happy to be back together.
“It feels amazing to have my dad back,” Avelica said. “There’s nothing like this feeling. I can’t even explain how I feel. I just feel really great.
The man’s attorney says he’s applied for a visa.
They’re hoping the deportation process will be stopped while officials review the application.
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