WASHINGTON (KABC) --A Highland Park teen who watched as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained her father last month spoke out Tuesday, along with lawmakers.
ICE officials picked up Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, 48, on Feb. 28 as he dropped his daughters off at school in Highland Park. His 13-year-old daughter, Fatima Avelica, recorded the whole incident on her phone.
On Tuesday, she spoke with lawmakers including California Sen. Kamala Harris.
"I saw my dad three days ago. He looks way skinnier that he was, and I'm scared that over time he will change more. He has told me how much he wants to be home with us," Fatima said, wiping away tears.
"I never thought that in any of my life, I would have to experience my father taken away from me. He has always been right beside me to help me with any struggles that I had. He was the person to sustain my family. Now my family and I are living day by day to see what happens next," she continued.
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Fatima also said she wants to attend college and become an immigration lawyer.
In a statement after the arrest, ICE said Fatima's father was targeted for arrest because of multiple prior criminal convictions, including a DUI in 2009, and an outstanding order of removal from 2014.
Watch Fatima Avelica's emotional statement in the video below.