On September 6, undocumented youth took a stand against the practices of the North Carolina Community College System of denying undocumented youth equal access to higher education and against the fear and oppression that the we, the undocumented community, are living in here in NC.

In total, 15 people were arrested of which 10 were undocumented. I was one of them. We were arrested, interviewed by a 287g program officer and processed. Our criminal records were clean, yet still we were processed. I was given an A number (the degrading “A” stands for “Alien”) and was to be sent to a detention center in Georgia. At no point was I offered or given a work permit- contrary to rumors and speculations pushed by our representatives (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/09/12/2600597/the-observer-forum.html#ixzz1Xr8muNex). Then, on September 7 around 6:30 am, while I was getting my Mecklenburg county jail jumpsuit, another 287g officer escorted me back to the 287g interview area. He took my immigration paperwork and said “In the four years that I have worked here, nothing like this has ever happened. This will be as if you were never detained by immigration, let alone processed.” He then proceeded to tear my immigration paperwork and threw it into the trash can. He concluded by saying “your A number will be reassigned.” We were going to be released from ICE custody, not because of the Obama administration but because of the public pressure that was brought about through our direct action.

Also on September 6, Javier De Los Santos a husband and father of 2 with a daughter on the way was stopped for having a broken license plate light and detained for having an expired driver’s license. He was also taken to the Mecklenburg county jail, where he met some of the undocumented youth who had taken a stand earlier that day. Like us, Javier was put into deportation proceedings. But unlike us, his immigration hold did not see the inside of that trash can, and now he waits to be sent to a detention center in Georgia (http://youtu.be/k_XbnDpeXRc ). Javier, like us, deserves to return to his family, deserves to see his baby born. There is no difference between an undocumented student and an undocumented paisano. Worker or student, young or adult- we are all undocumented, we are all being oppressed. In his 2008 campaign, President Obama promised to fix our broken immigration system (http://youtu.be/l0P2Gc8BNOY) and to stop the separation of families. Well, it’s clear that he has not. It’s also clear that he will not fulfill that commitment until we hold him accountable and demand that he do the right thing. We must demand an end to the forceful separations of families; demand that he stop the deportation of Javier De Los Santos.

Enough is enough. Show our leaders how to take a stand, how to do the right thing- sign the petition ( http://action.dreamactivist.org/javier/) today and make a call to let a father be there for the birth of his daughter.

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