Officers then, the statement says, found the overturned vehicle and notified Delano police.
The deadly incident comes amid a crackdown by ICE on undocumented immigrants in California. State laws limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities have led to an increasing clash between California and the federal government.
A couple was killed in a crash while trying to flee from federal immigration agents in California, police said. Neither the police department nor ICE would address whether the agents were in an unmarked vehicle.
Moments later, the couple's SUV veered onto a dirt shoulder, overturned and hit a power pole, according to police.
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ICE confirmed that Garcia was not the man they had originally planned to arrest, but a spokesperson for the agency said that Garcia, originally from Mexico, had voluntarily returned to the country three times between 2008 and 2017, and was removed from the country past year.
Jennie Pasquarella, director of immigrants' rights at the ACLU of Southern California, blamed ICE for the crash, faulting "inhumane tactics and the fear it provokes in hardworking people who stand to lose everything if they are deported", the Times reported. United Farm Workers told KBAK the two were a couple and left behind six children. Tellefson would not say whether the children are in the country illegally or if they plan to stay in California.
He says the couple left their home Tuesday morning to search for work, and at some point were pulled over.
Pasquarella said agents often pull over farmworkers in unmarked vehicles, adding that the agents who pulled over Garcia and Garcia Profecto were also in an unmarked auto. The couple initially pulled over, but sped off when the agents exited their vehicle, police said.
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Agents arrived at Garcia and Profecto's home Tuesday, believing it belonged to a previously removed Mexican citizen, Haley said. Santos Garcia matched the description of the targeted man but wasn't him, the agency said. Garcia and Profecto were declared dead at the scene.
"This frightful tragedy is the direct result of ICE's inhumane tactics and the fear it provokes in hardworking people who stand to lose everything if they are deported", said Jennie Pasquarella, the group's director of immigrants' rights, according to KRON. When ICE agents caught up with the vehicle, they saw that it had flipped onto its roof, and they immediately called 911, ICE spokesperson Jennifer Elzea told Newsweek.
This article has been updated with background on President Trump's criticism of California's approach to immigration.
California produces almost half the country's fruits, vegetables and nuts, valued at $47 billion annually and employs roughly 325,000 workers.
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"This certainly has the likelihood of reverberating through the farm-working community", he added.