Couple killed in crash while fleeing immigration agents

Elias Hubbard
March 16, 2018

In a statement provided to 17 News Wednesday night, ICE officials said Santos Hilario Garcia - the man killed in a crash in Delano as he and another woman tried to escape agents - was not the man ICE agents were looking to arrest.

The SUV raced away when the agents exited their vehicle, and minutes later veered onto a dirt shoulder, overturned and crashed into a power pole, killing the couple, the statement said.

ICE officials have said that they are engaging in targeted enforcement because of sanctuary-state policies California has adopted, making it more hard for ICE agents to enter jails and deport undocumented people. Garcia, who matched their target's description, exited the house, got into his auto, and fled the area "at a high rate of speed", Haley said.

The SUV overturned, police said, stopping when it hit a power pole in the 3000 block of West Cecil Avenue.

Garcia and Profecto were declared dead at the scene.

The Delano Police Department identified the couple as 35-year-old Santo Hilario Garcia and 33-year-old Marcelina Garcia Profecto.

The United Farm Workers of America said the couple lived in the country illegally since 2003 and left behind six children, ranging in age from 8 to 18.

"Marcelina and Santos were just going out and looking for work", Rodriguez told reporters.

"ICE has no choice but to continue to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests", former ICE Spokesman James Schwab said in a statement this month. He was deported under expedited removal in 2017. His criminal history included a 2014 driving under the influence conviction.

Jennie Pasquarella, director of immigrants' rights at the ACLU of Southern California, said in a statement that her office in recent weeks has received multiple reports from California's farm-rich Central Valley about immigration agents staking out the roads farmworkers travel to get to work and pulling them over during early morning hours.

"This incident demonstrates just how risky ICE's unlawful practices are to our communities", she continued. "This terrible tragedy is the direct result of ICE's inhumane tactics and the fear it provokes in hardworking people who stand to lose everything if they are deported".

The crash also came just a day after President Donald Trump lashed out at the state's leadership over immigration approach, and specifically, its allowance of sanctuary cities.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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