OXNARD, Calif. - An Oxnard man is facing deportation almost three weeks after he was picked up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.
The federal officers were in a South Oxnard apartment complex when 36-year-old Raul Gomez was walking out and heading to work.
“It’s definitely clear that it’s not just the criminal that ICE is going after, it’s folks who are getting caught in the cross-hairs," said Genevieve Flores-Haro, Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project associate director.
According to ICE, the officers were conducting an operation to find an immigration fugitive with a felony child abuse conviction. They never found the man they were looking for, but they did run into Gomez. They checked his background and found that he was picked up by immigration officers 5 times before. Each time he was deported, he returned to the United States.
“This is really a conversation we want to have as a community is what is a criminal offense? That’s really what’s complicated about immigration reform. There’s a vilification of the immigration community. That we feel is unjust," said Frank Rodriguez, Central Coast Immigrant Rights Coalition.
Gomez will face an immigration judge on Tuesday in Los Angeles. The judge will determine whether Gomez has a legal basis to stay in the country.