Immigrant youth organize campaign to release UC Berkeley student detained by immigration officials
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 01/04/2018
Valeria Suarez, RISE Co-Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, (510) 712-6736
So Young Kang, USP Paralegal, email@example.com, 510-548-4040 Ext: 362
Berkeley, CA—Luis Angel Mora, an undocumented student attending the University of California, Berkeley, was apprehended and detained by Customs and Borders Protection (CBP) on December 30th, 2017 in San Diego, California. Mora was driving in the border city with his partner when he missed a turn heading home, leading him to a CBP immigration checkpoint where he was detained.
Mora, who came to this country on a visa when he was 11 years old, had just finished his first semester as a third-year transfer student at UC Berkeley. Now his community fears he will be unable to finish his Political Science degree, as he sits in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody awaiting removal proceedings.
Mora spent more than 90 hours being held in an overcrowded barrack by CBP and he was transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody this Wednesday. All of this comes after Congress failed to pass a clean DREAM Act, which would have granted undocumented youth like Mora a pathway towards citizenship and cease the fear of separation from his community.
“He would be eligible for many of the iterations of the DREAM Act currently pending before Congress, and he may have several other pathways to lawful permanent residence available to him, but he cannot pursue them while he is sitting in a private detention facility at the border with limited access to counsel,” affirmed Mora’s immigration attorney Prerna Lal, who works with the East Bay Community Law Center in partnership with the Undocumented Student Program at UC Berkeley. Lal is in San Diego this week to visit Mora in DHS custody and inform him of his rights and legal options moving forward.
Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education (RISE), an undocumented empowerment organization at UC Berkeley has organized an online campaign to get Mora out of DHS custody, and stop his deportation. Valeria Suarez, co-chair of RISE and lead organizer says Luis is one of many immigrants facing separation from loved ones through deportation.”As grateful as I am for the huge levels of support directed towards Luis, it’s important to remember that his story is not the only one. We must fight to liberate Luis alongside the thousands of undocumented folks who are being unjustly held in detention centers.”
Suarez and advocates urge community members to pressure San Diego ICE Field Office Director Gregory J. Archambeault by calling (619) 557-6117 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and urging he use prosecutorial discretion and release Luis Mora (A#216265396) from DHS custody. Additionally, community members can contribute to his bond release fund here: https://www.youcaring.com/luismora-1059340