UC Berkeley Student Detained, Set For Deportation

A UC Berkeley student was being held in San Diego this week, slated for deportation, according to Border Patrol officials.

Cal junior Luis Mora, 20, was being held by the Department of Homeland Security and was due to be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Mora was visiting his girlfriend in Chula Vista, near San Diego, over the holiday, Telemundo 20 reported. His girlfriend said that they made a wrong turn while driving and accidentally found themselves at an immigration checkpoint.

The official asked both of them if they were U.S. citizens, and Mora said was undocumented.

Mora was born in Colombia and came to the U.S. on a visa, which has since expired, when he was 11. 

Mora was detained but requested a hearing so he could try to stay in the country to finish his education. He is studying politic science, Telemundo 20 reported, and wants to attend law school.

As of Wednesday, a hearing date had not been set.

Supporters are calling on authorities to let Mora finish his education.

"Luis would have qualified for many of the iterations of the Dream Act that were proposed by Congress, but Congress decided not to act on it," said Juan Prieto, an immigration advocate. "Now, we have a student, Mora, who is in custody."

An immigration lawyer headed to San Diego Wednesday night to try to free Mora. Attorney Prerna Lal said as of Thursday neither she nor her client had received paperwork confirming a hearing date.

"ICE has 72 hours to issue a notice to appear in immigration court, what are terms against you and where to appear for the hearing," Lal said. "Luis doesn’t have it and neither do I."

Mora first came to the United States in 2009. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, required that the person in question must have been living in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, meaning Mora would not have qualified.

The Trump administration announced in September it was ending the Obama-era DACA program.

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