Undocumented mother and three children from Guatemala released from ICE offices downtown

Call passage to the US a struggle' but worth it

SAN DIEGO - A mother from Guatemala and her three young children were released from federal custody Thursday, even though they crossed the border into the United States illegally.

The family was part of a wave of undocumented immigrants now showing up in border states, counting on unenforceable immigration laws to allow them to stay.

Antonio Gonzales of Riverside was in San Diego to welcome the family.

Gonzales is the half-brother of the two boys, ages 5 and 7, and their 3-year-old sister. Their mother is the wife of Gonzales' father.

"I'm excited to meet new members of my family," said Gonzales, as he carried the family's only belongings in a backpack and a trash bag.

Gonzales told 10News the family was not part of the group of immigrants that were met by protesters in Murrieta earlier this week, but he did have an opinion on that situation.

"It's embarrassing. We're rich; we have money and everything, you know, so they should help us. There's nothing to protest about," said Gonzales.

He asked his stepmother about the difficulty in crossing the border and being housed in a Border Patrol holding cell.

"She suffered a lot for the kids, but it's a good thing for them because she knows they're going to have a future here," said Gonzales.

Gonzalez hasn't seen his father, who is still being held by border authorities, for 15 years.

When his father is released, Gonzales plans to reunite him with his family in Riverside.

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