According to The Washington Post, Haley didn't say whether the arresting ICE agents considered delaying Arrona's arrest until after the birth or if they could have escorted Venegas to the hospital, given her condition.
The arrest of Joel Arrona-Lara stirred outrage, especially after an emotional report by CBS Los Angeles on Friday simply covered the arrest itself, and the reaction of bewildered mother Maria del Carmen Venegas, before receiving an explanation from ICE as to why it occurred.
Activists were infuriated by the arrest of Arrona-Lara, especially in light of the fact that Venegas had to drive herself to the hospital.
They do not have legal authorization to live in the USA, she said. While Venegas had hers and gave it to them, her husband had left his at home.More news: Carlos Sainz to replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren
Social media was set ablaze this week following breathless reports of a seemingly heartless action by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers: A man driving his wife to the hospital to give birth was taken into ICE custody when the couple stopped at a gas station in San Bernardino, California. "My husband needs to be here", Venegas said to CBS2.
Arrona remains in custody pending removal proceedings.
In a statement issued on Saturday afternoon (Sunday NZT), ICE said Arrona "was brought to ICE's attention due to an outstanding warrant issued for his arrest in Mexico on homicide charges", spokeswoman Lori Haley said.
Store surveillance video showed her hysterical after two cars surrounded the couple's vehicle at a San Bernardino, CA, gas station and arrested Arrona.More news: Brighton vs Manchester United, Premier League
"ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security", the ICE statement said. The agents searched the auto and led Arrona-Lara away in handcuffs, leaving his wife frantic.
Arrona-Lara's legal representative, Emilio Amaya García, told The Post he believed his client was not suspected of crimes within the United States, and denies criminal charges in Mexico.
Arrona-Lara's lawyer said he had no criminal record and no arrest record. "All those who violate immigration laws would be subject to an immigration arrest and, if a final order determines their removal, be deported from the United States".
"We need him now more than ever", she said from the hospital as her newborn son Damian cried in the background.More news: Pawtucket Red Sox plan to leave Rhode Island for MA
"Both the mother and child's life, who is a citizen of this country, were put in danger", Amaya García told the TV station.