TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The Tucson family that was in Border Patrol custody on Wednesday night, after a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon is now in ICE custody.
As of 12:15 p.m. Thursday the family, both adults and the child were transferred over to ICE officials, as is standard protocol.
An Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper stopped the car for a traffic violation at 22nd Street and 9th Avenue. That trooper than requested the Tucson Sector Border Patrol to come to the scene and investigate.
DPS issued the following statement on the incident:
On March 19, 2019, at 1:50 p.m., a Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper conducted a traffic stop on a 2017 Dodge Charger for illegal window tint. The stop took place on 22nd Street and 9th Avenue in Tucson.
The vehicle was not registered to either of the adult occupants, and a DPS vehicle theft task force detective was called to help determine if the vehicle was stolen.
The female driver provided documents inconsistent with the vehicle’s registration as well as foreign identification the trooper suspected may have been potentially fraudulent. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was called to help determine the authenticity of the foreign identification.
Once it was determined the vehicle was not stolen, the driver was issued a civil traffic citation.
The man, woman and their 12-year-old daughter were all taken into custody for immigration violations due to them being in the US illegally.
Witnesses said they tried to get Border Patrol to release the 12-year-old to friends and family nearby, but Border Patrol is heard on Facebook Live saying that she could only go to immediate family.
People gathered on the street to watch, one man even crawled under the Border Patrol truck to keep it from moving. He was arrested at the scene as well.
Pastor Alison Harrington, of Southside Presbyterian, stumbled onto the scene while heading home.
“It was like something out of a dystopian novel.” said Harrington. "It made many of us very physically ill even. I mean, it’s hard to describe it was unbelievably heartbreaking.”
Wednesday, dozens gathered inside the Southside Presbyterian Church, to draw attention to this case and many others.
"This is not what Tucson is about. Tucson is not about a community where families are torn apart like this.” said Harrington.
Border Patrol has confirmed that the only person released so far was the man who crawled under the truck.
Full statement from Tucson Sector Border Patrol:
On Tuesday afternoon, March 19, 2019, an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper conducting a vehicle stop for a traffic violation at 22nd Street and 9th Avenue in Tucson requested that Tucson Sector Border Patrol respond to investigate.
As the agent conducted his investigation and immigration inspection, a group of individuals began to gather on the side of the road in apparent protest. As the group grew in number, the agent called for assistance and additional Border Patrol agents arrived at the scene. After agents placed the three occupants of the vehicle in custody for immigration violations, agents arrested an adult male after he laid under the agent’s vehicle to prevent it from moving. Agents were able to depart the scene without further incident.
The three individuals, a father, mother and their 12-year-old daughter, arrested for being illegally present in the United States remain together in Border Patrol custody as they are processed for immigration violations. The adult male has since been released. No other information is available at this time.