A 20-year-old Berkeley undergrad driving with his girlfriend outside San Diego was detained by US Border Patrol agents after accidentally turning toward a government checkpoint. The student came to the US as an 11-year-old from Colombia and was officially detained for overstaying his visa. Because the student arrived after 2007, he did not qualify for protection under DACA.
Senator Diane Feinstein’s official Twitter account tweeted that her office is working “to see how we can be helpful.”
In a statement to the Mercury News, a spokeswoman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement wrote the student “was placed into removal proceedings and his case is pending with the immigration court. An immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review will determine the outcome of his case.”
The student, who won the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Young Latino Champion award in 2016, is being held in a private prison in San Diego. The prison is the subject of a lawsuit that alleges the facility violates human trafficking laws, the Mercury News reports.
In a statement, a UC Berkeley spokesperson wrote, “The campus does have processes in place to support students seeking legal resources on a variety of issues, and this includes attorney services for students managing immigration issues. While student privacy laws and UC policy limit what we can disclose about individual student records, we can tell you that we are looking into the matter to determine everything we can do to support and assist the student during this difficult time.”
An online fundraiser has been launched to support the student’s legal defense.
1/5 – UC Berkeley student’s life forever changed by wrong turn (SJMN): The article quotes Valeria Suarez, co-chair of UC Berkeley’s Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education, as saying, “I think he has a pretty good case for being released. More than anything, I think they’re using him as an example to try to punish him and punish other immigrants to instill fear.”
1/5 – Calls to Release UC Berkeley Student in ICE Custody Intensify (KQED): The article discusses efforts to have the student paroled as his case proceeds.
1/4 – UC Berkeley Student Detained, Set For Deportation (NBC|BayArea): The article notes the student confirmed he was undocumented when interviewed at the checkpoint.
1/5 – Antifa leader ordered to pay ex-UC Berkeley Republicans leader (EBT): A court ordered an Antifa leader to pay the legal fees of a Berkeley student who formerly led the college Republicans.