Despite President Obama's promises to halt the deportation of young illegal immigrants who've lived in the country so long as to be virtually indistinguishable from "Real 'Mericans" (aka DREAMers) and to provide them with a path to lawful citizenship, it seems that in one case in Tennessee, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has engaged in a game of chicken with the administration on the issue, putting one man's life in the balance.
A petition on the website DreamActivist.org details the story of Lesther Chavarria, a 21-year-old Nicaragua-born man who's called Tennessee his home for a decade, and who plans to join the Air Force or enroll in medical school. Although his age and circumstances firmly cover him under the June 15 memo issued by ICE's parent, the Department of Homeland Security, to cease fucking with people like Mr. Chavvaria, the petition states otherwise:
We, the undersigned, write to request that you take immediate action to stop the deportation of DREAM Act student Lesther Chavarria.
On September 2010, Lesther was pulled over by a police officer for driving with a broken tail light. Two months later, a police officer went to his house and arrested him for missing a court date. Thirty minutes into booking, Lesther found out ICE had placed a hold on him and he now faces deportation on June 27, 2012.
Lesther is a DREAM Act eligible youth who, according to President Obama, should not be facing deportation. On June 15, the administration promised that DREAMers would be safe from deportation and would no longer have to fear being separated from the only country they know. If that is true, why is Lesther still facing deportation despite being a DREAMer and qualifying for deferred action?
Lesther was born in Nicaragua but was brought to the United States when he was only 11 years old. Lesther’s father brought him and his two siblings to the country after his mother passed away in a car accident. Lesther is now 21 years old and dreams of pursuing his education to become a doctor or join the Air Force to give back to the only country he knows.
Lesther attended school in Tennessee, where he excelled at everything he did. Feeling safe and accepted, he took honors classes and joined the Cross-Country team. Unfortunately, Lesther had to drop out of school to get a job in order to support his dad financially. However, he still valued his education and was able to obtain his GED. Lesther wishes to continue with his education and attend college.
Lesther is a DREAM Act student and is, therefore, eligible for deferred action under the memo issued by the Department of Homeland Security on June 15, 2012. Lesther is a student who wants nothing more than to give back to the only country he calls home. If President Obama’s promise is genuine, Lesther will be given deferred action so he can stay in the U.S. with his family and friends.
We, the undersigned, urge you to stop the deportation of DREAM Act student Lesther Chavarria.
Queries to ICE were not returned as of posting time. Of course, with a bureaucracy like ICE's, and a noted rift between its rank and file and its Washingtonian overlords, the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Chavarria's case aren't novel.