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NC NAACP Statement Regarding the Possible Deportation of Erick Velazquillo
For Immediate Release

July 18, 2011

Contact:    Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President, 919-394-8137
            Mrs. Amina J. Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700
            Atty. Jennifer W. Marsh, Legal Redress Coordinator, 919-682-4700

The North Carolina State Conference of NAACP Branches stands in solidarity with one of
its Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Partners- -the North Carolina DREAM
Team--to protest the unjust possible deportation of a young Latino student, Erick
Velazquillo (A#200970380). "We stand with our partner, the NC DREAM Team, in its fight to stop the deportation of Erick
Velazquillo. The DREAM Team is an inspiring group of young undocumented activists and their
allies who have challenged the arbitrary and dehumanizing criminalization of young immigrants in
NC," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of the NC NAACP.  "North Carolina is lucky to
have these Dreamers.  Those of us whose ancestors were classed as non-citizens for 250 years during
slavery know well how easy it is to criminalize people because of their color or national origin.  We
stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are pushed to the margins because the racialized
politics of the extreme right is blocking a comprehensive immigration policy."

Erick was brought to the U.S. as a 2-year-old infant.  He knows no other home. Erick is an
athlete, an aspiring nutritionist, and wants to stay and help build his country- the United States of
America. He is a student who is eligible under the DREAM Act, a federal law that was narrowly
defeated last December, that would have provided a path to citizenship for a carefully defined group
of students and military personnel who were brought to the U.S. as small children.  Extremists in our
country have created an agenda that panders to racial fears. Part of that agenda is to punish young
people like Erick for growing up in the U.S.

On July 19, 2011, Erick's case will be heard by an Immigration Court in Charlotte, North
Carolina.  The Court could "deport" him to a country he does not remember.
 "The NAACP's sole purpose is to dismantle the system of racism that has caused so much
suffering in North America," said Rev. Barber.  "Whenever anyone attacks our Latino and
undocumented brothers and sisters, they attack our NAACP members; they attack all people of
color; and they attack all people of good will who believe we must repair the breach in the human
race caused by racism, not widen it. We urge Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, U.S. Secretary of
Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) John Morton to intervene on Erick's behalf."
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