ICE Says Man Detained While Driving Pregnant Wife to Hospital Is Wanted for Murder in Mexico

ICE arrests man en route to wife's c-section
CBS Los Angeles

The arrest of an undocumented man who was driving his wife to her C-section shocked many, but ICE officials say there's more to the story.

Over the weekend, ICE told CBS Los Angeles that Joel Arrona-Lara is wanted in Mexico on an outstanding homicide warrant. 

This is a departure from the immigration enforcement agency's earlier statement that stated simply that Arrona-Lara is in the country illegally. 

Arrona-Lara was driving his wife, Maria del Carmen Venegas, to the hospital for a scheduled C-section on Wednesday. When they stopped to get gas, Venegas said ICE agents approached them and asked for identification.

Arrona-Lara was arrested and Venegas said she was forced to drive herself to the scheduled operation. 

"I feel very bad right now," she told CBS LA in Spanish. "My husband needs to be here. He had to wait for his son for so long, and someone just took him away."

Despite the more recent ICE statement, an attorney representing Arrona-Lara on behalf of the nonprofit San Bernardino Community Service Center said the charges ICE claims are awaiting him in Mexico are unconfirmed.

The attorney said the Mexican consulate has no information supporting the claim and that Arrona-Lara's detention paperwork indicates only that he's in custody for being in the U.S. without documentation. 

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