Things got pretty rowdy at the foreclosed North Hollywood home of undocumented immigrant Blanca Cardenas (and her U.S. citizen family, including two small children) on Monday night.
Occupy L.A. protesters, who have been rallying against both the Bank of America foreclosure and Cardenas' resulting deportation, can be seen in a video of the on-site demonstration running through doors, picketing on the front porch and refusing to leave the premises. This, despite about 20 LAPD cops in riot gear waiting to pounce...
... according to the videographer, who runs a YouTube channel called InsightOut News. In the end, though, it appears nobody was jailed.
Cardenas was arrested by the LAPD last month for trespassing on her own property.
Her husband, Gerardo Quinones, told us that while the family was fighting Bank of America over the foreclosure and filing for bankruptcy, their home was sold to an investor, who then reported them as squatters to the LAPD.
But instead of being cited and released, Cardenas was transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody -- likely through the controversial Secure Communities program, which lets local cops call in ICE if they think they've got an illegal alien on their hands.
Quinones tells the Weekly today that Cardenas has upcoming court dates on March 14 (for the trespassing) and March 21 (for the bankruptcy).
Their lawyer, Alan Diamantes, is working on getting Cardenas back into the country to appear in court via "humanitarian parole," which would allow her to stay for a temporary period and sort out her U.S. legal matters.
But as for the deportation case -- "It doesn't look promising at all," says Diamantes. "It's very grim."
The immigration attorney is currently looking into all possible legal routes that could reunite Cardenas with her family. As reported in the above video, her one-and-a-half-year-old baby girl has been getting sicker and screams whenever she sees Cardenas on TV.
One of Diamantes' more promising leads is that Cardenas claims she was never provided any paperwork by ICE officials. Not the first time she was stopped at the border, 10 years ago, nor on the bus this time around.
"A lot of these people are processed and they have no clue whether they're being processed as a deportee or a voluntary return," says Diamentes. So when Cardenas was booted back over to Mexico all those years ago, she didn't know whether or not she was reentering the U.S. with a criminal hold.
Basically, everything hinges on whether the immigration court cares about that type of violation by ICE officers.
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"There has to be a system of determining whether or not the officers did the right thing or did the wrong thing," says Diamantes, frustrated.
ICE issued this statement to the Weekly when Cardenas was deported:
Ms. Cardenas Flores was removed to Mexico at approximately 5:15 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 29) after coming into ICE's custody earlier in the day. Cardenas Flores was previously removed from the United States in 2002. ICE reinstated her prior order of removal, paving the way for her repatriation Wednesday afternoon. ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States.