Florida residents might like to know about one immigration case that is making headlines. A wrong turn around 20 miles east of San Diego meant that a UC Berkeley student and his girlfriend found themselves at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Dec. 30. This was a problem because the 20-year-old student was an undocumented alien who arrived in the U.S. from Colombia on a visa when he was 11-years-old.
Stringent immigration enforcement has been a priority issue for the Donald Trump White House, and the Trump administration has begun deportation proceedings for many allegedly illegal immigrants, including young people who have been in the U.S. for a long time and those who are students.
Some young people are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but those who qualify for the program must have arrived in the U.S. before 2007. In this case, the student arrived later and was detained for overstaying his visa, and removal proceedings have started to have him deported.
A campaign has started to have this student released, and activists have rallied behind this young man who won the Young Latino Champion award in 2016. He is currently being held in San Diego's Otay Mesa Detention Center. This private prison is less than two miles from the border. A federal class-action suit was filed in Dec. 2017 listing allegations of human trafficking violations arising from conditions inside the prison.
The current climate in the U.S. that advocates for deporting undocumented residents could make many people uneasy. In some cases, those who have been in the country for years and even those who are lawful permanent residents could face removal proceedings. For example, this might occur when one is charged with a crime. One may wish to consult an attorney who can mount a deportation defense.