(CBS) – He went to court for a traffic ticket but ended up arrested by immigration officers.
CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos talked to the DACA recipient, who was released from jail Thursday morning.
Christian Gomez Garcia and his mother came to the United States when he was five. He’s 29 now.
On Monday, he went to fight a traffic ticket at the Skokie courthouse.
“I step out of the courthouse. They say my name. I never expect they would be ICE agents,” Gomez Garcia says, referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “I thought they were regular people. As soon I said, ‘Yes, my name is Christian,’ I just basically got turned around and handcuffed.”
He was transferred by deportation officers from Skokie to a holding facility in Wisconsin and jailed for nearly three days.
“You can’t tell whether its night or day. It’s horrible, sitting down in a square room,” he says.
His mother, Luz Maria Garcia, is upset following the ordeal, saying her son works and studies. The rest of their family is in Mexico, she says.
ICE officials announced Gomez Garcia’s release but did not explain why he was detained.
Gomez Garcia says he was told it was a computer glitch.
He has been a DACA recipient, or ‘Dreamer,’ since 2012. He applied for an extension, but mistakes on his renewal application delayed the process.
“For us to be treated as criminals, that tells you that they don’t care about us,” he says.
An attorney representing him says he should not have been arrested, citing a federal court order that protects him while his application is processed. They plan to file a complaint in federal court.