There was yet another bizarre case of reporting on ICE and the deportation of illegal aliens out of Minnesota this weekend, this time from the local CBS outlet. The deportation case in question wouldn’t be remarkable enough to mention were it not for the fact that the illegal alien’s wife is attracting media attention by claiming that her family was “targeted” by ICE because she was “standing up for immigrants’ rights.”
As we’ll see in a moment, there’s a lot more here than meets the eye. But here’s how CBS built up the story.
A Twin Cities family feels they’re paying a huge price for standing up for immigrants’ rights.
Last month, Luis Candela Gonzalez was taken into custody. His attorney says Candela came to the U.S. illegally, but they believe he was targeted for arrest because his wife Sandra was featured in a newspaper article last month, standing up for immigrants’ rights.
ICE tells us they make arrests based on the threat someone is to security. Luis Candela’s attorney says he did enter the country illegally, the father of three is not a threatening person…
Sandra and her attorney say because she was featured in a Star Tribune article, her husband was targeted for arrest.
Well, that certainly does sound like a suspicious and heartbreaking story, doesn’t it? The wife, Sandra Gonzaga Perez, is “standing up for immigrants’ rights” and because of that, her otherwise law-abiding husband was taken into custody and faces deportation hearings.
That might be enough to cue the outrage machine, but I decided to dig a little deeper into the backstory and some interesting things turned up. At the time of the original arrest, the Star-Tribune provided some coverage which may cast the family in a slightly less glowing, sympathetic light.
First of all, rather than seeking some sort of retribution against the wife, ICE was already looking into Candela-Gonzalez over his involvement with an immigrant activist group “known to provide shelter and safety to illegals from authorities.” There was an intersection of ICE interest between the spouses, however, when Sandra Gonzaga Perez got into her “activist” work, which apparently took the form of filing complaints against the manager of the trailer park where they live.
In the fall, Candela-Gonzalez’s wife, Sandra Gonzaga Perez, filed a complaint with the state Department of Human Rights saying a manager at New Brighton’s Oak Grove Mobile Home Park reported residents to ICE, leading to a string of immigration arrests last year — allegations that the park’s management has denied.
Yes, she was apparently complaining that the park manager, learning that there were illegal aliens residing on their property, followed the law and reported them to authorities. So now we have both the husband and the wife on the agency’s radar.
But what of Luis Candela Gonzalez himself? The CBS report describes Candela-Gonzalez as being “on the right track in life” and generally doing the right thing. Fleeting mention of a “burglary” is made, but it’s in the past and a case that is closed. Oh really? There were actually a few details left out.
Candela Gonzalez was actually convicted of a felony burglary of a vehicle in Kansas under a different name. He served seven months and, because of that, was already a candidate for the attention of immigration enforcement years ago. Also note the use of “a different name.” Like many illegal aliens, he was engaged in identity theft. This is confirmed by another incident where he was found to have been working in Arden Hills, Minnesota using someone else’s Social Security number.
His wife wants to claim that ICE is unfairly targeting an otherwise law-abiding “immigrant” because of her “activism.” In reality, it sounds like her illegal alien husband has been up to more than his fair share of illegal activity, drawing the attention of immigration officials. And both of them have allegedly been attempting to thwart law enforcement by sheltering illegal aliens from the law (which is also a felony, by the way) and making trouble for anyone who attempts to follow those laws.
As I said. With only a casual amount of digging, this story winds up being quite different than the media portrayal, doesn’t it?