If ever a case pointed out the utter absurdity of our broken immigration laws, it’s this one from the Charlotte Observer/News & Observer about a young Charlotte college student facing deportation to Mexico named Erick Velazquillo.
Erick is 22 and has lived in the U.S. since he was two. He has never visited Mexico in that entire time. He is, by any rational assessment, as “American” as they come.
Now, after being stopped (and jailed for three days) by local law enforcement officials on the positively ridiculous charge of failing to dim his headlights (i.e. “driving while brown”) he faces deportation from the only country he has ever known to a country he knows not at all. His hearing before a judge is set for July 19.
This is complete madness.
Much to his credit (and in a manner that’s consistent for someone who hails from the “home of the brave”) Velazquillo is going public in an effort to avoid being kicked out of his home and deported to a foreign land. According to the Charlotte O/N&O article, Velazquillo is working with friends at the NC Dream Team to publicize his plight in hopes that immigration officials will use their discretion not to deport him.
They are urging supporters to contact Senator Hagan (202) 224-6342, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (202) 282-8495 and Immigration Control and Enforcement chief John Morton at (202)732-3000) and to sign an online petition. You can learn more about all of these options by clicking here.