weather icon Clear

Kids of Las Vegas immigrant pressure ICE to stop deportation

Updated July 16, 2019 - 12:01 am

While many kids and college students were enjoying their summer vacation on Monday, 16-year-old Kimberly Arellano and her brothers were making a desperate plea for help.

Their mother, Adriana Arellano, was pulled over and detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers last week while driving to the bank to deposit money for the family’s rent. She is facing deportation stemming from a warrant for traffic violations six years ago that led to a court ordering her out of the country.

“My mom is not a criminal. She only tried to give three U.S. citizens the best life she could, just as any one of you would do for your children,” said Kimberly Arellano, referring to the fact that while her mother entered the U.S. illegally, she and her siblings are U.S. citizens.

Hours after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order to stay Adriana Arellano’s deportation Monday morning, Kimberly and her brothers, 21-year-old Jose and 12-year-old Adrian, spoke at a news conference at the Mi Familia Vota offices in Las Vegas and asked Nevadans to call ICE and plead for her release.

ICE spokeswoman Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe said in a statement Monday that Arellano appealed her deportation order multiple times, but the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a final order for her deportation in 2017.

Adriana Arellano will remain in ICE custody “pending the outcome of her immigration case,” Pitts O’Keefe said.

Adriana Arellano entered the United States in 1995 and was placed in deportation proceedings in 2011, according to ICE.

Nevada Assemblyman Chris Edwards, R-Las Vegas, said there are many paths to legal citizenship, and undocumented immigrants should expect to face legal reprimand.

“The option is you get here legally, or you don’t,” he said. “She’s had her day in court, a judgment was made and now she has to face it.”

Eviction notice raises stakes

The same day their mother was detained, Kimberly and Jose found a 10-day eviction notice on their door. While they fight for their mother’s freedom, they’re also packing and looking for a new home.

They’ve relied on their wages and help from their mother’s friends while she’s gone, but Jose Arellano said that other undocumented people in the community have begun avoiding their apartment.

“It’s gotten to the point where people who found out what happened to our mom, that they won’t come to our house,” he said.

Her children said the family had been struggling financially since their mother’s work permit expired and she was unable to renew it.

Jose Arellano, who studies criminal justice at the College of Southern Nevada, and Kimberly Arellano both work part-time jobs at restaurants to help support their family.

“My mother is the most dedicated and hardworking woman I know,” Kimberly Arellano read from a statement. She began crying and couldn’t finish the next sentence, so Jose read it for her.

“They took her away from us and left us with no parents,” he said.

Victoria Ruiz-Marin of the Nevada Immigrant Coalition said the Arellano family’s story isn’t unique. She said that while photos of migrant and refugee children separated from their parents in detention facilities at the border circulate on social media, a very similar narrative is playing out among U.S. families.

“This cruel plan to separate families is happening in backyards all over America. It’s happening in our state of Nevada. It’s happening in our schools. It’s happening in our city,” she said. “We cannot allow this to happen.”

Assemblyman Edwards said that U.S. citizens who are dependent on undocumented immigrants aren’t left high and dry when their parents are deported. They can stay with family members, enter the foster care system or return to their parents’ home country and then return as adults.

“They’re not the most desired options, but they are options,” he said. “It happens to U.S. citizens every day. If a single parent goes to jail, their children are left behind.”

He said that after 24 years in the U.S., Adriana Arellano had plenty of time to pursue legal citizenship.

‘Immigrants are people’

Ruiz-Marin said it’s important for immigrants in the U.S. to know their rights and urged them to double-check any information they read online.

For those who witness an ICE raid or arrest, she said bystanders should pay attention to detail and report what they see to advocacy groups like United We Dream.

The Arellano siblings haven’t seen their mother since she was detained, and they likely won’t be able to visit her before she is deported if the court allows the order to stand.

Kimberly Arellano said she has awakened several times in the middle of the night to the sound of her youngest brother crying for their mother.

“Even if I see my mom, I will only see her through a glass screen. No chance of hugging her goodbye,” she said.

After the news conference, a group of volunteers huddled around folding tables and began calling ICE’s local office at 702-388-6253 to demand Adriana Arellano be released.

Kimberly Arellano said that no matter what happens, her family will keep fighting to bring their mother home.

“My immigrant community should not be criminalized. Immigrants are people,” she said. “We are people.”

Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0365. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Local Videos
Person struck and killed by a train near downtown Las Vegas - VIDEO
Police investigate after a person was struck and killed by a train near downtown Las Vegas near West Owens Avenue and Stocker Street on Wednesday. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Paul Browning Released from Ely State Prison - VIDEO
Paul Browning greets his mother, Betty Browning, after being released from Ely State Prison. Browning served 33 years on Nevada’s death row. (Rachel Crosby/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Seven Magic Tires
“Seven Magic Tires,” created by Las Vegas artists Justin Favela and Ramiro Gomez, substitutes piles of tires for hefty boulders to recreate the scale model. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Warehouse fire in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas Fire Department PIO Nino Galloway gives an update on the fire at a warehouse on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Woman's memoir reflects on her fresh start in Las Vegas
Etta Baykara, 91, who plays accordion in a polka band, wrote a memoir that includes growing up on a farm to her move to California and then Las Vegas where she claims she is the happiest. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas pinball wizard Spittin' Jerry Kaczmarek
Jerry Kaczmarek, also known as “Spittin’" Jerry, talks about his days as a pinball hustler in Vegas in the 60’s and 70’s. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Behind the scenes at Broadacres Marketplace
Evelyn Sanchez, Broadacres Marketplace marketing and event director, talks about the offerings at the dynamic swap meet in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Teen talks about alleged sexual assault at Las Vegas grocery store
A 17-year old says she was groped and then sexually assaulted by a loss-prevention specialist at an Albertsons store in east Las Vegas. The subject's voice has been distorted to protect her identity. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson officials tried to lure Arizona Diamondbacks from Phoenix
Henderson officials tried to lure Arizona Diamondbacks from Phoenix with four potential stadium sites in mind, including one behind the future home of the future Raiders headquarters. Discussions between the team and the city stalled out, but Henderson still wants to attract professional sports to the area.(Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Grasshoppers swarm Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is swarmed by pallid-winged grashoppers on July 25, 2019. The grasshoppers have infested the Las Vegas valley after an unseasonably wet winter and spring, experts say.(@365inVegas/Twitter)
Aviators splash pad lets fans stay cool
Las Vegas Ballpark’s splash pad area is the perfect place to keep cool while enjoying the game. (Cassie Soto/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Grasshoppers invade Las Vegas
The grasshoppers came out at night in northwest Las Vegas on Thursday. Lights at a local gas station attracted hundreds of the insects. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CCSD superintendent says dean positions will not be eliminated
Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara discusses budget adjustments for the district after listening sessions with principals, teachers and support professionals. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson rain
Rain falls in Henderson on Wednesday, July 24, 2019.
Monsoon season begins in the Las Vegas Valley
Rain dropped in Henderson on Wednesday morning as monsoon season begins in the Las Vegas area. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson Fire Department on checking back seats in the heat - Video
The Henderson Fire Department talks about double-checking car seats in the Las Vegas heat to remember children who may be in the car. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Take the Red E Bike tour of Red Rock Canyon
The Red E Bike tour of Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas starts at the visitors center for a three-hour, 17-mile ride. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Meriwether talks about his son, who was killed by a drunk driver
Retired Metro sergeant Steve Meriwether talks about his son, Garrett Meriwether, who was killed by a drunk driver. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Earthquake might have caused Pahrump man's death
Officials in Pahrump believe that the recent Fourth of July earthquake caused the death of resident Troy Ray as he was working on his car. If true, it will be the first earthquake-related death in the state in recorded history, according to research geologist Craig dePolo. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Earthquake-related death reported in Pahrump
The Nye County Sheriff's Office investigated a man's death reported on July 9 that may have been related to a Southern California earthquake that occurred on July 4 and was felt in Southern Nevada. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Fire in Arts District in downtown Las Vegas
Fire in Arts District in downtown Las Vegas on July 6, 2019. (Angus Kelly)
10th Anniversary of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the coming week. Director Marwan Sabbagh talks about what the center offers, what they've achieved and what is next in the work of degenerative brain disease. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Highway Patrol pulls over hearse in HOV lane
A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper pulled over the driver of a hearse, which was carrying a body, in an HOV lane in Las Vegas, July 1, 2019. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
Bellagio Conservatory unveils Italian summer exhibit
The Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens have opened the gates to its summer display. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Summer In Las Vegas
Summer In Las Vegas (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Train derails in Northern Nevada - VIDEO
A train carrying ammunition derailed near Wells in Northern Nevada on Wed., June 19, 2019, closing part of Interstate 80, authorities said. (Michael Lyday/Twitter)
Fire damages an office complex in central Las Vegas - VIDEO
A fire causes heavy damage to an office complex at 3900 Paradise Rd. in Las Vegas on June 17, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Crash closes Las Vegas Blvd. near Fremont Street
A vehicle fleeing police crashed in the area of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard in downtown Las Vegas on Friday, June 7, 2019. (Courtesy Andy Herrera)
Clark County's third poet laureate
Heather Lang-Cassera, who will be Clark County's third poet laureate on June 1, is interviewed at the Writer's Block bookstore in Las Vegas, Friday, May 24, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
One dead, two critical in Henderson shooting
One person is dead and two juveniles are in critical condition after a Friday morning shooting in Henderson, police said. During a briefing at the scene on Friday, Lt. Kirk Moore said the preliminary investigation has revealed that this incident is likely narcotics-related.
A man whose wives were found dead 8 years apart under similar circumstances is denied bail - VIDEO
Alan Sylwester, the man suspected of killing his wife, was denied bail again Wednesday morning during his preliminary hearing in Henderson.
Chief deputy district attorney: “Justice was done” in child pornography case - VIDEO
Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney James Sweetin speaks with the media after the sentencing of Christopher Sena, the man who was found guilty in February of multiple counts of sexual assault with a minor, incest, use of a minor in the production of pornography, lewdness with a child younger than 14 and child abuse. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)