Valeska Castaneda can distinctly remember being pulled out of her preschool classroom after learning her mother was deported.
“I was uncontrollable — so upset — I didn’t understand,” Castaneda said.
When she was about 2 years old, Castaneda and her mother crossed the Rio Grande in a tire fleeing war in their home country of Nicaragua. Attached to it was a bag filled with a few clothing items — the only possessions they carried with them on the trek.
The Back on the Road coalition, made up of seven California organizations and supported by the ACLU, claims that an individual’s driver’s license can only be suspended legally if the person has “willfully” failed to appear or pay a fine. Simply being “too poor to pay the fine,” according to the coalition’s complaint, isn’t enough to establish intent as required by law.