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University student caught at border checkpoint faces deportation

The situation of a 20-year-old young man detained on the West Coast illustrates the perils faced by people in Florida who lack acceptable immigration documentation. While driving with his girlfriend, the political science student encountered a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint. Agents arrested him and sent him to Otay Mesa Detention Center. This privately run prison is currently the target of a federal class-action lawsuit alleging that the facility breaks human trafficking laws.

Overstaying his visa represented the reason for his arrest. He did not qualify for protection under the terms of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals because he entered the country after 2007. A representative from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that he will face removal proceedings in immigration court.

An attorney from the East Bay Community Law Center acknowledged that she had seen his notice to appear in court, which could ultimately result in his deportation. Advocates for the man, who received a Young Latino Champion award in 2016, continue to pressure immigration officials to release him. The co-chair of Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education said that he had a good case for justifying his release. She also expressed her belief that he was be used as an example to frighten other immigrants.

A person held in immigration detention might benefit from legal representation. An attorney may prepare a deportation defense. Legal advice might also help someone identify a strategy for obtaining documentation to stay in the country. As an attorney takes action to ensure due process, the person might gain time to prepare an application that pursues approval to live, work or study in the country.

Source: Mercury News, "UC Berkeley student's life forever changed by wrong turn", Emily Deruy, Jan. 5, 2018

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