LAUSD Cries Foul after ICE Detains Student’s Father; Overlooked, Father is Fugitive from Justice

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

May 25, 2017

Apparently spurred by illegal immigrant Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez’s arrest as he dropped off his daughter at the Academia Advance campus, LAUSD officials announced a policy of “non-cooperation” with federal immigration officials, reaffirmed a 2016 measure that declared campuses “safe places” for illegal immigrants, and entered into partnerships with legal service organizations to offer “Know Your Rights” seminars.

Monica Garcia, Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member,
and rumored Assembly candidate, announces ‘non-cooperation’ policy.

Since ICE arrested Avelica-Gonzalez near, but not on, a LAUSD school, the illegal immigrant community fears that more arrests are imminent. And they may be. As Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: “Everyone here illegally is subject to deportation.”

Avelica-Gonzalez has lived and worked illegally in the U.S. for 25 years, and has three prior misdemeanor convictions that include DUI, driving without a license and receipt of stolen property. As a result of his crimes, Avelica-Gonzales had an outstanding final order of deportation against him.

Ignoring final orders of deportation has grave consequences. First, not reporting to ICE as scheduled makes an alien a fugitive from justice which could, according to immigration lawyers, result in an arrest at home, work or school at any time. Agents, the lawyers warn, often come in the middle of the night, when least expected.

Multiple accounts of the ICE actions paint President Trump, ICE and federal immigration laws as the villain. But really, the fault rests exclusively with Avelica-Gonzales who voluntarily entered the U.S. illegally, broke multiple laws while here, and defied a final deportation order.


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