Supporters say federal agents picked up California man Fernando Carillo in October after he dropped off his four-year-old daughter at a daycare. On Friday, they showed up at the San Francisco Immigration and Customs Enforcement office to call for his release, according to Fox 11.
“I have struggled to make ends meet,” his wife Lourdes Barraza, an American citizen, told the outlet. “Fernando was the main provider. Our power got turned off last week because I did not have enough money.” She said a nonprofit recently helped her make ends meet.
She said red tape got in the way of her husband becoming a documented immigrant.
ICE defended the arrest in a statement Friday. A spokesman said that Carillo was “removed to his native Mexico three times since 2003,” said he had fraudulent ID, and was convicted for a DUI.
Carillo has been in federal custody since October. For his supporters, the isolation from the outside world makes it hard to fight the government in court.
“The main issue right now is that we’re trying to get him out of detention because when you are in detention it is difficult to get legal counsel,” said Reverend Deborah Lee of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, an immigrant rights group. “It is very difficult to get the legal advice you need.”
Jewish congregations also joined the rally.
“We don’t have to look back 3,000 years ago to a time when Moses said ‘let my people go,’ to know that this is incredibly unfair and unjust,” said Rabbi Sydney Mintz of the Congregation Emanu-El.
Carrillo’s absence places a huge strain on his 15-year-old daughter Isabella Astorga. She showed up to the rally with a sign that read, “Let my Daddy Go! #Free Fernando.”
“I feel like my whole life has just you know slowly crumbled apart,” said Astorga. “I just feel very out of place in life right now.”
[Screengrab via Fox 11]