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Immigration activists speak out after Tucson family detained, separated by Border Patrol

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Posted at 3:17 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 18:17:11-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A Tucson family says U.S. Border Patrol agents detained and separated them Tuesday, sparking immigration advocacy groups to call attention to the incident.

No More Deaths and the Southside Presbyterian Church are supporting the family, who will speak to the media at 3 p.m. at Southside Presbyterian Church, 317 W. 23rd Street. The groups released video of the incident.

According to the family, troopers stopped the family's vehicle citing excessive tinting in the windows. Glenda de la Vega Fernandez, Jesus Antonio Torres, and 12-year-old Dariana Torres de la Vega were detained.

Border Patrol agents placed 12-year-old Dariana in custody, despite the protests of close relatives at the scene who wanted to take her. Border Patrol agents placed her in the caged back of the vehicle. In the news release, the family says the parents and child were later separated at Border Patrol headquarters.

In the video of the incident, a Border Patrol agent tells a bystander that the family is being detained because they don't have visas to remain in the country. A news release from the family and the church say they have lived in the country for 11 years and have two other children, ages 10 and 6.

A bystander crawled under the Border Patrol truck to prevent it from leaving. He was detained and is in Border Patrol custody.

The Border Patrol declined to comment on the video or the incident.