We’re learning more about the Delano couple who died Tuesday while trying to flee from ICE agents.
Family and friends gathered Wednesday at the crash site. Delano police identified the couple as Santo Hilario Garcia, 35, and Marcelina Garcia Profecto, 33, flipped their SUV.
UFW President Arturo Rodriguez said the couple left their home Tuesday morning, searching for work. At some point, they were pulled over.
Rodriguez said, “When they learned they were ice agents, because of their legal status, they became very scared and as a result they took off and eventually had a crash here on Cecil avenue.”
It’s unclear why ICE agents were after them.
“As far as we know right now, Santos and Marcelina were law abiding folks. They just came here to work. They had not committed any crimes any major crimes other than the fact that they came here because they could not gain legal status in any other particular way,” said Rodriguez.
It’s also unclear if ICE continued to pursue the couple after the initial stop.
Rodriguez said, “Who knows if this accident could’ve been prevented if these ice agents weren’t so aggressive with this family.”
Delano police are investigating the crash, but haven’t released additional details yet. We also reached out to ICE, but have not heard back as of news time.
Family members said the couple had been in the United States for 15 years and were farmworkers. They had six children ranging in age from 8 to 18 years old.
The UFW and several other churches and organizations are working to provide support for the children, but their future remains uncertain.
Rodriguez said, “The kids are very scared right now. The oldest daughter is 18. She has a young child, just a few weeks old right now. She doesn’t know what’s going to happen to her siblings, to her brothers and sisters right now so they’re all just trying to figure out, what are the next steps.”