South LA

Mother reports her son's arrest by ICE agents who identified themselves as police

When her son intervened, the agents asked him to leave the residence and after confirming his identity, they proceeded to arrest him.


A mother is reporting that her son was arrested by ICE agents Thursday morning outside his residence in South Los Angeles, allegedly using false information.

The mother of the detained immigrant told Telemundo 52 that ICE agents allegedly identified themselves as police and said they were looking for someone else to open the door for them.

John Anthony Ventura's mother denounced the way in which apparent ICE agents in marked police uniforms detained her son at around 6 a.m. at her South Los Angeles residence.

"I screamed and told them why they were lying, why did they come to the house saying that they are police when they were not, and they were ICE agents," said Catalina Ventura, mother of the detained immigrant.

ICE spokesmen told us they carried out an operation aimed at the arrest of Ventura. According to the agency, Ventura actively resisted arrest and head-butted an officer and bit another officer on the arm.

Ventura has a criminal record for various offenses, including robbery. Spokespersons for the immigration agency claim that because it is a law enforcement agency, they use the term "police" as a universal term to be easily identified.

According to her account, the officers showed her a photo and asked her about a man she does not know.


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"They showed me the photo of another person and supposedly they had already come to look for that person before, and that was a lie," Ventura said.

When her son intervened, the agents asked him to leave the residence, and after confirming his identity, they proceeded to arrest him.

"That's why it was my courage, because they were presenting themselves with a lie, and that's why I insulted them," added Ventura.

John Anthony Ventura, 30, from El Salvador, has committed crimes in the past, his mother admitted, but alleges that what he doesn't think is fair is the way she assures immigration officials acted.

For practices such as those the Ventura family denounces today, for example, identifying themselves as police officers, last April, the Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit against ICE.

“We file suit on these tactics that they employ to arrest. Once the agents enter the houses or leave, it is when they are arrested and it is when they are told: we are not really police, we are immigration, ”said Stephanie Padilla, an ACLU lawyer.

The mother of the detained immigrant whose future is now uncertain, fears that her son will be returned to El Salvador and his life is in danger.

"That she go to El Salvador and they kill her, that is my fear, that they deport her," said Ventura.

The Civil Liberties Union has an online campaign called "ICE Is Not Welcome Here" where immigrants can learn about their rights if they confront ICE agents.

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