ICE says activist's role didn't spur mom's arrest

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 11, 2013 at 6:54 pm •  Published: January 11, 2013
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PHOENIX (AP) — Federal immigration officials on Friday released the mother of an immigration activist, less than a day after the woman and another relative were arrested at the family's Phoenix-area home.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents "did not target" the relatives of activist Erika Andiola because of her role with the Dream Act Coalition, the agency said in a statement provided to The Associated Press.

ICE officials also said Maria Arreola was released with an order of supervision, meaning she must check in periodically with the agency.

Andiola earlier said ICE agents told her that there was a long-pending deportation order for her mother, an immigrant from Mexico. Andiola questioned whether that actually prompted the arrest.

"They knew who I was and they know what I did," she said. "I'm really surprised that they came after my family because of the activism that I do."

Andiola's 53-year-old mother and a 35-year-old brother were arrested Thursday evening at the family home in Mesa.

Family members said the brother, Heriberto Andiola, was detained because he refused to answer ICE agents' questions.

The daughter said agents asked for her mother.

"The minute she got close to the door, they handcuffed her and they took her," the daughter said.

Heriberto Andiola was released early Friday, while the mother was released Friday afternoon after being returned to Phoenix from an immigration detention center in Florence, Ariz.

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