A dramatic video showing Border Patrol arresting a woman as her children cling to her is drawing scrutiny from her local community in California. Perla Morales-Luna and her three daughters were walking down the street in National City, California, on Saturday when two plainclothes Border Patrol officers grabbed the mom, separated her from her children, and forced her into their truck. “Get in the car!” one of the officers shouted as the three daughters stood on the sidewalk wailing.
“Mom!” one of the girls yelled as the truck pulled away.
Morales-Luna was apprehended for being in the country illegally, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection San Diego. The agency responded to complaints about the video on Twitter Thursday but would not share specifics of Morales-Luna’s situation.
Perla Morales-Luna was identified as an organizer for a transnational criminal smuggling organization operating in East County, San Diego. She was arrested as a result of a targeted operation on March 3, 2018, in National City for being in the country illegally.
— CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) March 9, 2018
The video, shared on social media by one of the girls’ teachers, has 11 million views at the time of writing this article.
Local council member Alejandra Sotelo-Solis said the video shows Border Patrol’s inhumane treatment of people in the community.
“To have something like this go down, in the broad daylight, it really is concerning,” Sotelo-Solis told NBC 7.
Alliance San Diego, a community empowerment organization, drew attention to the video on social media Thursday. “This just happened in our community!” the group tweeted. “Family separation and border militarization are real traumas that plague not only San Diego, but every community within 100 miles of the border which border patrol operates.”
Local immigrants rights groups are planning to speak out against the arrest Friday morning, according to ABC 10.