California siblings plead for parents arrested by immigration
The four Duarte siblings, residents in National City, California, denounced undercover federal immigration agents, in unmarked cars, showed up outside their home last Tuesday and arrested his parents, who are Mexican immigrants.
In National City, a 50,000 city near San Diego, California, four brothers of a Mexican family were suddenly left without their parents.
Francisco and Rosenda Duarte were arrested by Immigration agents on May 23, when the father left home early in the morning to buy the newspaper at a nearby store. Rosenda was arrested when she went out to see what was happening. The arrest happened before the astonished look of her two daughters, who were eating breakfast before going to school, as reported in EFE.
Since May 23, the Duarte brothers - Francisco, Luis and twins Aracely and Yarely, 19, 17 and 12, respectively- live alone. Their parents are hold in an ICE detention center and face risk of deportation. Activists have being rallying outside the Otay Mesa Detention Center since then, as reported in 10news.
The siblings have had to ask for support to the community to cover the legal and household expenses. Three days after publishing their case on the GoFundMe portal, the Duarte brothers have raised more than $ 60,000 donated by their community and by strangers who have been moved by their story.
The Duarte bothers will make use of the money to afford lawyers to find a favorable resolution that will allow them to reunite with their parents again.
"I'm amazed to see how everything can change in a day," told EFE Aracely Duarte. In a matter of seconds, she was no longer having breakfast and thinking about her homework, but seeing how how immigration officers handcuffed and took away their parents.
"My little sister, she came screaming to my room and I came out and both my parents were in handcuffs and my father was on top of a Tahoe hands behind his back," Francisco, the oldest of the sibiling, told 10news.
The Duarte's came from Mexico twenty years ago and have no criminal record, they said. Since then, the family has been selling ice pallets through the streets of San Diego County, as reported in EFE.
Luis Duarte, 17, said they decided to make their case public because they do not want these incidents of family separation "to normalize."
"A lot of people have come and told me I know how you feel, this happened to my dad a month ago and that's not right, it's not good that if they do not have a criminal record they get them out," he said.
"This is an injustice, even if it is legal, it is not right to leave a child of 19 years and me (17 years) to care for two girls of 12," he added.
The siblings made a Youtube video to expose what happened that morning. They called it an early morning 'ambush.'
The Duarte brothers have always been very close, just as their parents instilled it. All of them have a good performance in their schools and agree that they will seek to enter the best universities in the country.
Although there is the possibility of accompanying their parents to Mexico, they know that they will convince them to stay in the United States.
"That's the way our parents are, even if it hurts them not to see us, if they think it's for the best, they're going to tell us to stay here," said Luis.
Francisco and Rosenda Duarte remain in custody of federal authorities, pending hearing before a judge.
Manuel Duarte, nephew of the detainees and a lawyer, traveled from Mexico to support his family.
"I put my hands in the fire for them because I know they are good people," he said.
However, according to U.S. Border Patrol, Duarte and his wife "were suspected to have been working as stash house operators for a transnational human smuggling operation," as reported in NBC.