Bill Montgomery's Victims Plead Not Guilty En Masse as Their Children Weep
Every tear shed by this child is an indictment of County Attorney Bill Montgomery
That march was led by nine year-old Sara Blanco and her elder sisters Andrea, 11, and Diana, 17.
Their mother, grandmother and grandfather worked at Sportex and were arrested by sheriff's deputies during the February 8 raid. All three are being held nonbondable in county jail, charged with multiple counts of forgery and ID theft.
One reporter asked Sara what she would say to Arpaio, if she had the chance.
"[I would ask if] he can leave people [alone]," the Fourth-Grader said as she sniffed and cried. "And help people be more together. He says that he doesn't want to separate families, but he just did."
Arpaio separated them, and Montgomery keeps them separated, a fact not lost on Sara's sisters.
Diana, who is deaf, spoke to the media using sign language as interpreted by Andrea.
"I don't want [my mother] to be deported to Mexico," Diana signed, weeping. "I don't want her to spend a year in jail. I miss my mom and I need her a lot. We want to tell the one that's putting the charges [on her] to please stop."
Around thirty Puente activists, family members of Sportex workers and supporters participated in the demonstration. Some carried signs bearing an image of Montgomery with the words, "Drop all charges...Hard work is not a crime!"
Julia Ojeda's husband Miguel Venegas is one of those captured in the Sportex raid. Fighting back tears, she explained that her husband had worked for Sportex for 18 years.
Together they have three U.S. citizen children, who do not know when their father will come home, as he, too, is held nonbondable, charged by Montgomery's office with multiple class four felonies.
"They're arresting people [who] all they do is work hard," she said through an interpreter.