Undocumented immigrants, U.S.-born children detained
March 7, 2010 at 11:05 p.m.
Updated March 7, 2010 at 9:08 p.m.
Two undocumented immigrants and their U.S.-born children were detained by deputies Sunday morning after a traffic stop.
Dora Salazar and Sady Noah Sanchez were traveling north on U.S. Highway 87 into Victoria with their three children when they were stopped for speeding at 10 a.m.
The parents could not provide any identification and were taken to the Victoria County Jail, along with their school-age children, said Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor.
Although the parents were placed in a holding cell, the children were not allowed in the jail, O'Connor said. They were supervised in a break room. However, no family was available to take them.
"It's a horrible situation," O'Connor said. "And we get put in between these things of having to make these decisions on a roadside of splitting the family up."
The entire family was taken by Immigration and Naturalization Services to Corpus Christi. The mother and father wanted the children to stay with them, O'Connor said.
"I think it's critical that they stay as a unit," he said.
O'Connor said to the best of his knowledge he did not believe this was a situation of human trafficking.
Sanchez played soccer for a local team called Japilla, according Michelle Garcia, a family friend.
The entire family lived in Port Lavaca. As of 8 p.m. Sunday, the children were picked up from INS in Corpus Christi by a grandmother, Garcia said.