Border Patrol detains 22-year-old Cal State L.A. student activist; her lawyer says it is retaliation

A 22-year-old immigration activist and college student was detained Thursday by federal authorities, less than a month after her mother was taken into custody by federal agents during a massive cocaine bust in Los Angeles.


Claudia Rueda was taken into custody while moving her family’s car outside their Boyle Heights home, and late Thursday, she was being held by the U.S. Border Patrol at a detention facility near San Diego, according to her attorney, Monika Langarica.

“She was moving the car because of street sweeping,” Langarica said. “Before she got out of the car, three vehicles pulled up” and Rueda was taken into custody.

In response to specific questions about Rueda’s detention, Jose Hernandez, a spokesman for the Border Patrol, said seven people were detained Thursday morning in L.A. as part of a wider probe of cross-border drug smuggling. He did not identify the seven people, citing “privacy concerns,” but said they were apprehended at several locations.

Langarica said there was no evidence suggesting any link between Rueda and alleged criminal or drug-related activity. Instead, the attorney pointed to Rueda’s involvement in her mother’s ongoing immigration case.

In April, Rueda’s mother, Teresa Vidal-Jaime, was picked up by federal authorities during a raid at a Boyle Heights apartment complex where more than 30 pounds of cocaine and $600,000 in cash was found, officials said. Vidal-Jaime’s husband and three other men were arrested on suspicion…

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