Courtesy of Gladys Diaz
OCEAN PARK — Immigration advocates are planning a rally on Friday to protest the arrest of a Mexican man who lives in Ocean Park, and they’re raising money to help his family.
Federal agents detained Baltazar “Rosas” Aburto Gutierrez on Nov. 27, after he spoke to journalists with the Chinook Observer and the Seattle Times about the immigration arrest of his longtime girlfriend. He was identified by only his nickname in the Observer, and not by name in the Times.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lori Haley told the Times the agency doesn’t retaliate as a rule. But when pressed about Aburto Gutierrez’s case, she declined to comment.
He’s now locked up at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
Aburto Gutierrez, 35, has lived in the U.S. for 18 years. He worked as a clamdigger and had been sending his paychecks to Mexico to support his three daughters and his partner, Gladys Diaz, who was deported after her arrest in June. The girls are 4, 7 and 12.
Organizers are taking donations for the family at gofundme.com/sw4ua-help-the-gutierrez-family. They plan to meet for the rally at 3 p.m. on Friday at the corner of Vernon and Bay avenues in Ocean Park. Organizer Ann Reeves, of Long Beach, said they plan to protest until dark.
“We need immigration reform and to stop arresting long-term residents who aren’t criminals,” said Reeves, a volunteer advocate. “We also want to support free speech. No one should be arrested for talking to the paper.”