Photo: Hispanic Hero Who Thwarted NM Kidnapping Honored While Disclosing He is Undocumented
Friday, Albuquerque honored one of its locals, Antonio Diaz Chacon, as a true hero for thwarting the kidnapping of a 6-year old in his neighborhood earlier in the week. Little did he know that in doing what he claimed “anyone would do” his undocumented status would be made an issue and place him center stage of the immigration reform debate.
None of this entered his mind when he witnessed the 6-year old being snatched off a play ground by suspect Phillip Garcia into his van. Quick thinking Diaz Chacon had his wife call police while he pursued the suspect in his car. When the suspect crashed the van he was driving Diaz Chacon ran, without thought to his own safety, to the van and took the little girl out and brought her home.
His undocumented status was revealed by him in a Univision interview which put a different spin on this heroic tale. He readily acknowledged giving up trying to seek legal residence knowing it takes an average of 20 years to accomplish that and not being able to afford the process. He is married to an American citizen and has been in the country for four years.
Both sides of the debate took to his story, one side wanting him to be the face of what is wrong with deportations of non-criminal aliens the other calling anyone even a hero a law breaker. None of this seemed to matter Friday when Diaz Chacon received a plaque written in Spanish with the Mayor and other dignitaries present.
Diaz Chacon, appears unfazed by the attention or fearful that this unwanted attention can get him deported, he just knows he would do it all over again.