Arleta man given legal status during the Reagan era detained by ICE agents

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Jose Luis Garcia was in his front yard drinking coffee when ICE agents showed up and placed him in handcuffs in Arleta. (KABC)

Jose Luis Garcia was in his front yard drinking coffee when ICE agents showed up and placed him in handcuffs in Arleta.

Garcia's daughter Natalie could not believe what was happening that Sunday morning.

"I asked for a warrant. They had no warrant. They said it wasn't a criminal offense, it was administrative. They had to take him. It was due to a domestic violence dispute back in 2001," she said.

Court records show Garcia, 62, entered a no contest plea. Natalie said the family thought the case was closed.

Long before that incident, her father was granted legal status during the Reagan administration under the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Garcia came to the U.S. when he was 13, nearly 50 years ago.

"He's a taxpayer. He's a homeowner. He's been a homeowner. He's worked in the same job for more than 35 years," Natalie said.

Garcia also recently started driving for Uber to make some extra money. He's been the sole provider for his family.

But now, his loved ones are asking for the community to show support through an online petition, urging people to call ICE and demand Garcia's release.

"He's my hero. So this is really heartbreaking for me, especially with how much he loves this country," son Luis Garcia said.

The family contacted an immigration attorney as well as the ACLU. Eyewitness News contacted ICE for comment Monday night, but a statement would not be available until Tuesday.
Related Topics:
societyICEarrestimmigrationimmigration reformronald reaganlegalArletaSan Fernando ValleyLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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