A 22-year-old who is in jeopardy of being deported to Mexico has made national headlines this week as members of the North Carolina Dream Team, the state's advocacy group made up of young people who support the DREAM Act, help him fight the removal.
The young man arrived in the United States 20 years ago has lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the past 12 years where he studied at the Central Piedmont Community College and enjoyed living life as a typical 22-year-old. That is until one day in October when he was arrested after driving without his headlights on and without a valid driver's license.
Once at the police station, officers soon discovered the young man's irregular immigration status through Program 287(g), which allows state and local law enforcement entities to enter into a partnership and share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He then spent three days in jail before his family posted bail to have him released.
Now, the young man's deportation case will go before an immigration judge on July 19. But he isn't going through the process alone.
According to a spokesperson for the NC DREAM Team, an appeal has been filed in Charlotte's immigration court and the group is also sending a petition around the Internet to gather support. The group plans to present the petition to a North Carolina Senator, the ICE chief and Homeland Security Secretary.
The young man decided to fight his case in effort to prevent the same thing from happening to countless other people like him, he said.
"I studied in this country for 20 years and I haven't done anything. I want to prevent others in my situation from going through what I'm experiencing," he explained.
And the plan just might work. In fact, last year, the NC DREAM Team prevented the deportation of a student at Guilford Technical Community College, after an e-mail campaign was sent around on his behalf, and it doesn't plan to stop there.
"This is not only [this young man's] cause but also that of more than 51,000 students in this state who have the same situation. Therefore, we're asking them to stop being afraid and to organize themselves to avoid more deportations," NC DREAM Team spokesperson said.
Source: Fox News Latino, "'DREAMers' Seek to Halt Deportation of North Carolina Student," 7/6/2011.