Extremely cold and saturated cells of immigrants, separation of families and little food were some of the complaints made this Thursday by Glenda Danae de la Vega Fernández, an undocumented mother detained by Immigration agents.

The woman criticized that her family’s rights were not respected when she was arrested in Tucson during a traffic control with her husband and 12-year-old daughter.

“There was no need for my daughter Dariana to be detained for so long and especially that she was put in a separate cell, we were all separated,” De la Vega Fernandez said during a press conference at the Presbyterian Church of the South in Tucson.

He indicated that his daughter spent approximately 48 hours in a cell at the Border Patrol station with some 18 minors, all women, in a cell where lack of space forced some to sleep on the floor of the bathroom.

“They are very cold places, even though they give you a foil blanket to cover you, it’s not enough, my daughter, who was already sick, came out sicker from there, the same as me,” the mother said.

The family, with more than eleven years living in Tucson, was arrested on March 19 by an agent of the local Department of Public Safety (DPS) because the windows of his car were very dark.

The Border Patrol was notified after the mother presented a Mexican identification, as reported Thursday.

After a strong community pressure campaign, two days after the arrest De la Vega and her daughter were released without paying bail, but the father, Jesús Antonio Torres Araujo, was deported that same day to Mexico.

Activist Jessica Rodriguez said cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the Border Patrol is increasingly common in border communities, and this is leading to the deportation of undocumented families with years of residence in the country.

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