Officials from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency arrested a California man while he was peacefully doing yard work at his Napa home this weekend, all while his wife and daughter watched helplessly.
Helena Ponce told the Los Angeles news station KABC that more than half a dozen ICE agents swarmed her home on Sunday morning, where they found her husband Armando working in their yard. After quickly confirming his identity, the agents arrested him, leaving Helena to film the ordeal with her cell phone as the agents took Armondo away.
“Probably like five to six cars just stopped and all of a sudden they just got out, armed and with their bullet proof vests,” she told the station.
The arrest came as part of a larger ICE sweep through Northern California—one Ponce said she didn’t think would affect her family. Although she admitted to KRON that Armando did have a criminal history after arriving in the United States when he was four years old—without going into further details—she insisted he was not a threat to the community.
“He went to work. He didn’t drink. He didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. “We just assumed they were coming for other people who really are doing wrong stuff.”
Splinter reached out to ICE for comment on Ponce’s arrest, and will update this story if and when they response.
The Sunday morning ICE raids came shortly after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf posted a direct warning on her Facebook page telling local immigrant communities to expect a sweep by federal authorities. At least 11 people were reportedly picked up by ICE officials during the raids.
For Armando’s daughter, Isabella Salgado, her father’s arrest has only motivated her to make the most of her American citizenship.
“It’s kind of the reason why I want to go to college and I kind of want to do everything for him because I have the opportunity,” she told KABC. “I am a U.S. citizen and have all this stuff and I shouldn’t take it for granted.”