The heartbreaking tale of a gang member being deported

The media keeps trying to play the same repetitive game we’ve been playing and beating them for the past few years now. Following the big sweep in the Los Angeles area, individual investigations are still being handled and CBS San Francisco brings us another of the heartbreaking tales of a family being separated by the evil forces of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This is a particularly curious bit of coverage given how these stories normally go, and we’ll get to why that is in a moment. It starts out as so many of these tales do, with a crying child – the daughter of one Armando Nunez Salgado of Napa – watching as federal agents come charging into the family’s backyard and apprehend her dad while he’s peacefully working in his garden.

ICE agents took Armando Nunez Salgado into custody outside his home. According to family members, he was in the backyard when agents walked right in through the side gate. His 14-year-old daughter Isabel Salgado dissolved into tears.

“I cried. I got very emotional, I was really sad,” said Isabel. “I mean to watch someone who is part of your everyday life and then you just have to watch him leave without saying goodbye. It kind of hurts.”

Armando is a construction worker who has been in America more than 30 years. His wife Elena Ponce said his parents brought him to the U.S. when he was only four years old.

Thus far it’s fairly typical of such coverage. You’ve got the wife and the teenage daughter, distressed and in tears over the unfairness of it all. He volunteered to help fight the wildfires plaguing the area last year. On top of that, Armando was brought here when he was only four years old. Shouldn’t this guy have been in the DACA program? Why wasn’t he a “Dreamer” by now? In any event, he’s clearly one of the good guys. The wife concludes by saying, ” So the fact that they took someone off like that. I don’t see the sense in it all. He wasn’t a danger to the community in any way.”

Normally this is the point where I’d start doing some Google searches to see if there’s something else in this guy’s history which might attract the attention of ICE. It’s not that they can’t deport him simply for being here illegally, but if that’s the entire story they probably wouldn’t make this guy a priority bust. But this is where the CBS article takes a sharp turn and saves us any further searching. It turns out that Armando isn’t quite the non-threat that’s being described. (Emphasis added)

But it turns out, Armando does have a dangerous past. After our interview, his family members told KPIX 5 he was involved in gangs and drugs for a long time.

In fact, at one point, he was on ICE’s most wanted list for charges of felony force and assault with a deadly weapon.

Now things become a bit more clear. He’s only had a few years “clean” according to his family, but before that, he was enough of a bad guy to make the most wanted list as a gang member, drug dealer and violent felon. And the most wanted list era was a few years ago since he’s gone to ground since then.