1156 GMT May 06, 2021
Joel Arrona-Lara pulled into a petrol station in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday, when the couple were approached by two Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, CBS News reported on Sunday.
His wife Maria del Carmen Venegas showed them her ID, but he did not have his. The officers did not allow him to go home and get his ID, instead taking him into custody — leaving Venegas to drive herself to hospital alone, where she had a cesarean section.
"My husband needs to be here," she told CBS News.
"He had to wait for his son for so long, and someone just took him away."
ICE said Arrona-Lara, a Mexican, was living in the US illegally. He had been there for 12 years, Venegas said.
"All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States," the agency said in a statement.
ICE did not explain why the agents did not let Arrona get his ID or why they left Venegas alone. It said Arrona-Lara was wanted on a homicide charge in Mexico, but the Mexican consulate said it had no record of such a charge.
Arrona-Lara has not been allowed to speak to his wife or his newborn son.
"The last thing he knew was that I was here in the hospital. I'm sure he's worried," Venegas told CBS News.
The US has cracked down on its southern border in recent months, separating thousands of children from their parents.