Posted 5:54 PM 10/15/2013 : Undocumented immigrants speak out after controversial traffic stop
TUCSON- Two undocumented immigrants taken into ICE custody after a routine traffic stop are now free and speaking out about what happened.
At around 7pm on October 8, Agustin Reyes and Arturo Robles were driving home from work when Tucson Police pulled their car over because the license plate light wasn't turned on. The two men were unable to provide TPD with a license or ID, a misdemeanor which results in vehicle impoundment.
State law also required TPD to do an immigration check, which revealed the two men are undocumented immigrants. TPD called Border Patrol to the scene and that is when the chaos started to ensue.
Nearly 100 protesters gathered around the scene and TPD used pepper spray to break up the crowd. Within an hour, Robles and Reyes, as well as community activists Rosa Leal and Mari Galup (who were both at the scene), were all detained by Border Patrol.
Tuesday afternoon the four of them spoke at a press conference at Southside Presbyterian Church, right where the incident took place. They're calling into question TPD's enforcement of SB 1070.
"It's a violence that is perpetrated in our communities, it is separating families, it is breaking the community apart, it's constant fear for people who are just here to work and raise a family," Galup says. She spent one night in custody at the Tucson Sector Border Patrol.
"It was a horrible experience and I was scared," Reyes told News 4 Tucson in Spanish. "I'm just asking the police department and Chief Villasenor to be fair with us and to stop accusing us of being criminals. Just because one doesn't have a driver's license doesn't mean a person is a criminal."
Reyes, Robles as well as Leal were all taken up to the detention center in Eloy, where they were detained overnight.
They are asking TPD Chief Villasenor to have his officers stop calling Border Patrol and stop detaining people. If he doesn't implement changes, they will ask the city council and city manager to intervene.
Chief Villasenor says he himself doesn't like SB 1070, but his officers were just following the law at the time of the incident.
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