Isaias Mosqueda Cisneros usually spends Sundays at his sons’ soccer games. His wife, Erika Mosqueda, said she can’t remember a time the family has missed their sons’ game.
This Sunday, Mosqueda Cisneros, who is ‘undocumented’ and lives in Auburn, spent the sunny spring day in the Yuba County jail in Marysville after being picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday. His two oldest children, Yoni and Julian Mosqueda, played their game while Erika Mosqueda and her 10-year-old daughter, Ninel, joined dozens of protesters outside of the jail, calling for bail to be set for Mosqueda Cisneros and for the authorities to issue a stay of deportation for him.
Erika Mosqueda said through a translator that her husband of 14 years is a responsible man with two jobs who still finds time to be with their children.
“He’s always been with us through everything and he’s been a hard-working man,” Mosqueda said. “For a long time he’s had two jobs.”
He was on the way to one of those two jobs, as a landscaper, Tuesday morning when he was detained by ICE agents, said activist Tomas Evangelista.
Evangelista said he has pieced together what happened from Erika Mosqueda and other community members’ accounts. He said that Mosqueda Cisneros, 38, was in a landscaping truck with a coworker who had a warrant out for his arrest. This brought Mosqueda Cisneros to the attention of ICE.
ICE’s Northern California spokesman said Mosqueda Cisneros was picked up due to a past conviction.
“Isaias Mosqueda entered the U.S. illegally and was targeted by ICE officers due to his prior criminal history, which includes a 2006 conviction for the offense of assault with a deadly weapon,” said ICE Northern California spokesman Richard Rocha.
Erika Mosqueda said the conviction stemmed from a dispute in which someone came up behind her husband and attacked him. She said he protected himself and during the scuffle, the other individual was cut with a broken bottle.
He was in jail for six months over the incident, she said, and hasn’t had any legal problems since. A search of Placer County Superior Court records turns up no cases under Mosqueda Cisneros’ name.
He had an application for legal status in progress, Evangelista said.
“We thought that everything was in order and that we didn’t have any troubles,” Mosqueda said. “That’s why we feel that he shouldn’t be here right now. He hasn’t done anything wrong.”
She said she will struggle to make ends meet for her children without him.
“We depended a lot on him,” she said, after a long sigh. “The rent, the bills … But now I have to be strong, to be the whole support of the home.”
As California officials continue to battle the Trump administration over its hard-line immigration policy, ICE agents have steadily scooped up undocumented immigrants throughout the state.
In February, ICE detained at least four people in Sacramento during a crackdown that activists said resulted in 13 detentions. Around the same time, ICE agents arrested 212 people in the Los Angeles region, 88 percent of whom ICE said were convicted criminals. Last November, ICE targeted Cambodian and Vietnamese immigrants throughout the state.
Outside the jail, protesters carried a banner promoting diversity and listened to short speeches from local activists as Mosqueda’s family looked on. Ninel Mosqueda struggled against tears for most of the protest. She let out a small wail and clutched her mother tight as a sheriff’s vehicle passed.
Evangelista, who is a co-founder of the California Dreamers immigrant advocacy organization, said fear of law enforcement is common among the children of immigrants who get picked up by ICE.
“Children often confuse (ICE agents) with law enforcement and she’s now traumatized,” he said. “She just knows that law enforcement means danger for her.”
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