EDINBURG, TEXAS - A passionate plea from a South Texas mother of six as she sits inside a detention center, desperate to be reunited with her family after being arrested by federal immigration agents.
There’s a newfound fear within the undocumented community that more families will soon be torn apart.
All seven members of the Garcia family are pulling their weight, coming together to do whatever they can to help get their mother out of an immigration detention center 160 miles away in Laredo, Texas.
That’s where she spoke to KENS 5's Border Team over the phone.
Sonia Garcia said she was taken by Border Patrol agents late last month, at the end of her work shift at a gas station in McAllen, Texas.
Two of her teenage kids had been waiting at the parking lot to pick her up when they said a Border Patrol agent approached them saying the vehicle they had just bought was not registered. Garcia was then asked for identification but only had a Mexican license.
“My mom was just getting out of work, she cooks for the Border Patrol every single day,” said Garcia’s 15-year-old son, who was there as it all happened.
“I feel, like, mixed emotions. Angry because I know it’s unfair because they just took her out of nowhere and sad because I miss my mom. I miss having her in the house.”
Sergio, Garcia's oldest son, benefits from former President Obama’s Deferred Action program, or DACA. He’s the only one out of six siblings who is not a U.S. citizen, but that’s not stopping him from helping his mother.
Just this weekend he sold more than 400 chicken plates with the help of his father and brothers. He also launched a GoFundMe account named "Mother of 6 Facing Deportation" to raise money to bring his mother back home.
“It’s so hard when we could just talk to her face to face and now only though the phone for 15 minutes it’s just really hard,” Sergio said.
The pain is felt both ways.
“I’ve never been separated from my children,” Garcia over the phone said.
Other than overstaying her visa 20 years ago, Garcia said she’s never been convicted of a crime. Her greatest fear now, she said is to be deported.
Garcia said she’s refused to sign her voluntary deportation. Instead, she is seeking due process and a chance to be released on bail.
The KENS 5 Broder Team reached out to Border Patrol about the incident but have not yet responded to a request for comment.
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