Convictions Vacated for Father Facing Deportation

By City News Service

HIGHLAND PARK – A man whose daughter filmed his detention by federal immigration agents will likely avoid deportation due to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s concurrence with a judge’s ruling on the case, City Councilman Gil Cedillo said Wednesday.

Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel while dropping off one of his daughters at Academia Avance in Highland Park on Feb. 28. His case gained widespread attention with the dissemination of video footage taken by another of his daughters, who filmed the incident while sobbing.

Avelica-Gonzalez was detained due to two prior misdemeanor convictions for receiving stolen property in 1998 and a DUI in 2008.

A state law that took effect in January allows the court to vacate some convictions if the person charged was not fully informed of the consequences to pleading guilty or no contest.

The DUI case was vacated by the judge last month, and on Friday, his 1998 conviction was vacated by a judge who ruled that a waiver form was not properly filled out as required by state law.

The City Attorney’s Office had previously argued that Avelica-Gozalez’s argument to have the conviction vacated had no legal grounds, but City Attorney Mike Feuer’s spokesman, Rob Wilcox, said Tuesday that the judge’s ruling had “focused on facts that hadn’t been presented earlier to the court,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

“The judge concluded, and our office agreed, that the waiver form was not fully consistent with wording required by state law,” he said, according to the Times.

“I’d like to thank City Attorney Mike Feuer for ensuring that Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez’s case was treated with fairness and all evidence considered in our pursuit of justice for this Angeleno. We said we were going to have a talk with the city attorney and we did,” said Cedillo, who represents the

Highland Park neighborhood where Avelica-Gonzalez was detailed.

“Romulo represents a movement for family unity and reunification, a cornerstone of our city’s values and immigration advocacy foundation,” he said. “We denounce ICE in our neighborhoods as well as the tearing apart of our families and communities. The ramifications of this arrest will endure long after this case is closed. Our people are living in fear of ICE every day.”

 

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June 22, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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