The media had a field day with the U.S. Border Patrol’s arrest of Perla Morales-Luna on March 3 in Southern California.
Morales-Luna is the illegal alien who was arrested on video while her children screamed in the background. The video has since gone viral.
More details behind Morales-Luna’s arrest have emerged, however, and the facts tell a different story from the emotionally charged video that made rounds on the internet.
What’s the background?
The dramatic video of Morales-Luna’s arrest sparked controversy across the globe last week.
The viral video showed agents arresting Morales-Luna, restraining her, and placing her into a waiting vehicle. Children identified to belong to Morales-Luna can be heard screaming.
Vice News published a news item about the arrest and titled their piece, “WATCH: Border Patrol rips mother away from crying children.”
The BBC published an article titled, “Immigration agents detain mother in front of screaming children.”
A headline for a story by the U.K.’s Mirror read, “‘Where is she going?’ Screaming children’s tears of pain after mum is dragged away and bundled into immigration van.“
Social justice organization Alliance San Diego shared their own Twitter update after the video began racking up views.
“This just happened in our community!” the update, which contained the viral video, read. “Family separation and border militarization are real traumas that plague not only San Diego, but every community within 100 miles of the border which border patrol operates.”
This just happened in our community! Family separation and border militarization are real traumas that plague not only San Diego, but every community within 100 miles of the border which border patrol operates. https://t.co/nsT2JLws9D
— Alliance San Diego (@AllianceSnDiego) March 8, 2018
So what are the details behind Morales-Luna’s arrest?
The U.S. Customs & Border Protection San Diego division in a Twitter update issued a statement that the division arrested Morales-Luna because she was identified as an organizer for a human smuggling operation, in addition to being an illegal immigrant herself.
A portion of the statement read, “Perla Morales-Luna was identified as a human smuggling facilitator who recruited drivers to transport illegal aliens from a remote border area in Eastern San Diego County to a stash house in National City as part of a larger transnational criminal organization.”
According to the update, Morales-Luna had been a wanted woman since January.
“During the arrest on March 3, 2018, Ms. Morales-Luna refused to comply with the agents’ commands and physically resisted while attempting to abscond into a nearby vehicle,” the statement continued. “The video clearly shows the arresting agents carried out their duties appropriately, even when faced with a barrage of insults and confrontational agitators.”
The update also noted that Morales-Luna’s children were released into the custody of a family member for care.
According to the post, Morales-Luna will have a hearing before an immigration judge who will make the final decision in her case.
— CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) March 10, 2018
Morales-Luna’s attorney, Andrés Moreno II, denied allegations that his client is a human smuggler, according to KPBS-TV.