Last we told you of the plight of Lesther Chavarria, the 21-year-old who was facing deportation at the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement despite promises from the Obama Administration that he, just like millions of other young, foreign-born Americans who entered the country illegally as children, would be granted a path to citizenship as a young adult.
Pith has received word from the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coaltion that the proceedings against Chavarria have ended.
"On Wednesday, June 20, the Nashville DHS office told Lesther Chavarria that he would be deported even though he meets the requirements for the new policy, blatantly disregarding President Obama’s announcement," says Amelia Post, spokeswoman for TIRRC. "After public outcry from around the country, Lesther’s deportation was stopped for now. While we are very happy that Lesther will be able to stay with his family, we remain deeply concerned about how many other people are in Lesther’s situation."
ICE officials could not comment directly on the matter.
Click through the jump to read a statement prepared by Chavarria for Pith.
Last Friday, my deportation was stopped. Today an alarm I had set on my phone went off, saying ‘Last Day’. The news still hasn't fully sunk in that I actually get to stay here with my family.
If I had been forced to go to Nicaragua, I would have been really scared. I don't know where I would have started. It would have meant having to adapt to a new culture, one that I don't know at all. It would have meant having to live without my family.
Now that I will be staying in my home, I want to go to school, I want to work and I want to be a better person. I want to be an example for others of someone who changed his life and made something of himself.
I joined J.U.M.P, an undocumented youth-led group in Nashville, to help make sure that other people like me don't get deported. I will keep sharing my story and now that I know more, I will work so that other students don't go through what I did.
I am very happy about the announcement President Obama made on June 15th to stop the deportation of DREAMers, but there is a lot more to be done. ICE offices need to do a better job. What the ICE office in Nashville did to me was not right.
I want to tell other undocumented students who might be in my situation to not be afraid. Fight for your future and don't give up. There is a purpose for you here. When we organize and work together, it makes a difference. If we speak up, we can stop this.