Deportation isn't just for undocumented criminals, as President Trump has suggested.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has set its sights on lawful permanent residents who have committed minor crimes, some more than 20 years ago, the Los Angeles Times reports. These immigrants have green cards, but 15 were still scooped up in a three-day ICE raid on "public safety threats" in the Los Angeles area.
Jose Luis Garcia is one of those legal immigrants, arrested in the June 10 roundup while watering his lawn, per The Mercury News. The 62-year-old grandfather left Mexico when he was 13 and earned legal status in 1988. But his 2001 misdemeanor arrest for domestic violence made him a target for deportation; an immigration lawyer told the Times that domestic violence is "always a deportable crime."
Garcia's green card may have even made him more likely to be picked up. An ICE agent reportedly told his team that some raids' targets had green cards, "so we should have a good address on them," per the Times. If he'd applied for naturalization, ICE could've been alerted to Garcia's arrest even earlier.
Most of those targeted in the operation were undocumented immigrants, the Times says. But Garcia is still in ICE custody, and his wife — also a lawful permanent resident — is warning others against putting faith in their green cards.
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.