"Get in the auto!" one of the apparent agents yells as one of the daughters calls for her mom.
A video that shows United States Border Patrol agents arresting an undocumented mother - and separating her from her shrieking children - is drawing outrage online, but experts say it happens all the time.
A protest is planned Friday morning outside City Hall offices in National City a day after a video began circulating on social media showing a mother being snatched off a National City street and hauled away by federal authorities in front of her frantic, crying daughters. At one point a girl appears to be shouting "Mom". Her daughter, who was transported to a detention center in Chicago, has yet to be released.
Thirty-six-year-old Perla Morales-Luna was walking downtown the sidewalk in National City, California over the weekend when she was picked up by Border Patrol agents.
Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco said she was being held on suspicion of being in the country illegally, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Judith Castro-Rangel, who identifies herself as a special education aide on Facebook, posted the video on Thursday.
Supporters of Luna said agents were aggressive as they arrested her, taking her to a Border Patrol vehicle as her three children watched and cried out for her. "If there weren't uniformed agents, it would resemble a kidnapping".
In response to the video, CBP officials said Luna was detained due to accusations that she runs a criminal smuggling organization.
The Border Patrol, which characterized the arrest as a "targeted operation", said Thursday that Morales-Luna was in the agency's custody awaiting transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal proceedings.
Morales-Luna is accused of organizing a criminal smuggling operation out of San Diego, according to US Customs and Border Protection. "It's one of the core results of immigration forces is that they separate families and that's been going on forever", Nowrasteh said.
The woman's attorney, Andres Moreno II, said agents left the daughters - ages 17, 15 and 12 - alone on the street.
The video footage provided a window into the way these arrests play out amid immigrant families, Rios said.