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Higher Education

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

 (Richard Winton / Los Angeles Times)
(Richard Winton / Los Angeles Times)

A 22-year-old immigration activist and college student was detained by federal authorities Thursday, 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 detained while moving her family’s car outside their Boyle Heights home and was being held by the U.S. Border Patrol at a facility near San Diego late Thursday, according to her attorney, Monika Langarica.

Rueda played a central role in advocating on behalf of her mother, Teresa Vidal-Jaime, who was cleared of involvement in the drugs seized during the cocaine bust, but was held for several weeks in federal custody. Despite the objections of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Vidal-Jaime was granted bail and released May 12.

Rueda's attorney floated her mother's recent release as a reason for the Cal State L.A. student's apprehension. “There is a lot that suggests retaliatory behavior on Border Patrol’s part,” Langarica said.

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