A Month After Her Mother Was Detained By ICE, Cal State L.A. Student Claudia Rueda Was Also Detained

A mother of two from Boyle Heights, and her daughter, a Cal State Los Angeles student were both detained by immigration authorities in separate incidents and could be deported to Mexico. According to the the Los Angeles Times, people are livid at the way they were apprehended and are calling it unjust.

On April 24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested Teresa Vidal-Jaime, along with her husband, because they believed that they were connected to a cocaine drug ring.

But, according to community organizers, the authorities were wrong. They say the 54-year-old woman had nothing to do with the 30 pounds of cocaine and $600,000 in cash that the authorities found in a car belonging to her husband, Hugo Rueda.

Although the Sheriff’s Department released Vidal-Jaime because she was not considered a suspect in the drug bust — they claim they did not ask about her immigration status — ICE detained her due to her undocumented status. She was then taken to a detention center in Chula Vista and is awaiting deportation proceedings.

Community organizers suspect Vidal-Jaime was arrested because her daughter, Claudia Rueda, has been a longtime immigration activist.

Facebook/Claudia Rueda

Claudia Rueda has always been quick to inform people about ICE raids and pro-immigration protests.

“We think it is retaliation against her mother for her daughter’s activism,” community organizer Marcela Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times.

While her mother was in detention, Claudia Rueda held protests in support of her mom.

“Despite being told she would not be detained as long she cooperated, my mother was apprehended during an illegally conducted raid at my apartment,” Claudia Rueda said in a statement. “I know my mother is innocent, and both [the Sheriff’s Department and Border Patrol] know that, which is why they were supposed to let her go.”

Then on May 19, less than a month after her mother’s arrest, ICE arrested Claudia Rueda.

Facebook/Claudia Rueda

A statement from the Democratic Socialists of America offered Rueda’s version of the incident: “Officials showed up this morning, family members knew not to open the door since the agents couldn’t produce a warrant. But they got to Claudia anyway while she was outside moving the family’s car. For several hours her family had no idea where she was.”

ICE painted a different story. According to a press release by ICE, they state that Claudia was arrested, along with other individuals for their involvement in a “cross-border narcotics smuggling organization.”

ICE says that Claudia is in violation of the terms of her visa.

“These targeted arrests should send a stern message to anyone linked to transnational smuggling,” Roy D. Villareal, Deputy Chief Patrol Agent of the San Diego Sector said in the press release. “Our agents will be relentless in their effort to put these organizations out of business.”

The president of Cal State University, Los Angeles, where Rueda is a student, issued a statement saying ICE needs to release Rueda.

Protests calling for the release of Rueda are currently taking place.


Credit: Sophia Armen / Facebook

A social media campaign, #FreeClaudia, was also launched:

The Democratic Socialists of America have created a template for anyone who wants to send ICE a letter asking for the release of Claudia and her mother.

[VIA] The Los Angeles Times: Woman swept up in massive cocaine bust in L.A. now faces deportation, spurring protests and anger

READ: Latino Man Held At ICE Detention Center Appears To Have Committed Suicide After Being In Isolation For 19 Days

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