LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) --A Long Beach family filed a request to bring back their father, Jose Alvarez, who was deported after being pulled over during a traffic stop by campus police.
Alvarez was pulled over by Cal State Long Beach campus police for a broken headlight in February.
The family claimed that campus police turned Alvarez over to immigration authorities because he was previously convicted for non-violent drug offenses and deported over 20 years ago.
"That conviction had more weight than the 30 years he's spent here, than the six citizen children he's raised, than his son's service - seven years of service as a United States Marine," family attorney Jessica Bansal said.
Alvarez was convicted of two aggravated felony counts related to drug trafficking, including possession of a controlled substance for sale and transportation of a controlled substance, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. His case was considered a "priority one" level case.
According to Alvarez's family, he is a hard-working father, the breadwinner, who made a living as a pool cleaner. Now they visit him in Tijuana, Mexico.
"Separating our family is just not like 'oh, we're going to deport him.' It's more to it. It's more emotional. Financially, it's more stressing," daughter Susana Alvarez said.
The Alvarez family has filed a request for their father to be granted humanitarian parole.
Bansal said that Alvarez's testimony is critical for pending legislation that could affect similar cases.
Recently, the TRUTH Act was passed by the California Assembly. It does not allow Cal State campus police officers throughout California to participate in immigration enforcement.
CSULB released a statement about General Order 55 that has been established since Alvarez's case.
"In essence, officers shall not stop or detain persons for determining immigration status or arrest persons solely for alleged undocumented entry into the United States," the statement said.