SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego family is pleading for their father back after they say officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement apprehended him on June 20.
Their father is expected in court on July 18.
Gilberto Mayorga's children say it's hard to imagine life separated from him.
"He's been here's since he was 17, 16. All he knows is San Diego. All he knows being here," his daughter, Eugenia Mayorga said.
They say their father met their mother and started their family. He was deported but quickly came back so he could help their mother, who was struggling to support their family.
"As soon as he came back, I remember having a roof over our heads," his daughter Bridgette Rembao, said. "I feel like the only crime he made was to come back and financially support us."
ICE painted a different picture of Mayorga. ICE officials say he had previously been removed from the country five times. He served 100 days in federal prison for illegally entering the country.
They say he has two felony criminal convictions for drug offenses and was sentenced to more than than five months in jail. He was also convicted of two other misdemeanors.
ICE officials released the following statement to 10News:
“While no class of alien present in the country illegally is exempt from ICE enforcement efforts, ICE officers do prioritize individuals they seek to apprehend and remove including criminal aliens, especially those who have repeatedly ignored our nation’s immigration laws.”