More than two weeks after immigration authorities detained 36-year-old Perla Morales Luna in front of her children, a judge has ruled that she be set free.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in San Diego justified their harsh detainment tactic used against Morales Luna due to their claims that she was involved in a smuggling ring. However, an immigration judge, Zsa Zsa Depaolo, ruled yesterday that she should be released while her case is pending.
It was on March 3 that border agents took Morales Luna in front of daughters. The video went viral.
Border agents tweeted that Morales Luna was “identified as an organizer for a transnational criminal smuggling organization operating in East County, San Diego.” They added that she was the only person involved in this “smuggling organization.” According to the statement, she was detained because she was in the country without documentation.
The video of her detainment went viral, which also contributed to the support of her release.
“I am very grateful for being released,” Morales Luna said to news cameras after she was freed from detainment. “And I am very thankful to the community for their support, and…thank you very much.”
Here’s the moment when Morales Luna was reunited with her children who were present at her arrest.
Finally Perla with her daughters🙏🏽💕💕💕 #PerlaEsLibre La justicia siempre con Dios es Posible! ‼️‼️COMPARTAN ‼️‼️Recuerden El GoFundMe porfavor ayuden a esta familia. 💕🙏🏽🎉🎉🎉🎉https://www.gofundme.com/3moraleschildren
Posted by Judith Castro-Rangel on Tuesday, March 20, 2018
According to the Associated Press, Judge Depaolo said a U.S. immigration judge in downtown San Diego would be handling her case and would be able to be with her daughters while her case in pending.
Judge Depaolo added that Morales Luna is not “not a danger to society or a flight risk.” Morales Luna’s lawyer said that three other people have been accused of the same charge as Morales Luna and all cases against them were dismissed.