BURLINGTON, N.C. — Latinos held a prayer vigil in support of an Alamance County father who could be facing deportation on Friday.
Isaias Valles-Castrejon’s fight against deportation is on its last legs as a result of a traffic stop in April.
An Alamance County deputy cited Isaias Valles-Castrejon for not having insurance and not having a driver’s license on April 22.
Ten months later, he is required to leave through voluntary removal on February 15.
“Give me a ticket, don’t separate me from my family,” Valles-Castrejon said in Spanish.
The 26-year-old is a cook at a restaurant and has two boys, ages three and five, as well as a wife in Burlington.
Randy Jones with the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office said his officers regularly do random license plate checks when not otherwise occupied.
“You wouldn’t believe how many cars out there are stolen, or have expired tags, or belong to somebody out on a warrant,” Jones said. “So we check as many as we can.”
Jones added that those checks are done randomly, regardless of the driver’s race or country of origin.
Monday’s prayer vigil was also held to let lawmakers know they want paths to citizenship for many who live here illegally.
Members of the NC Dream Team–an “organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies who are dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, community-led immigrant rights movement in North Carolina”–were also on hand at the vigil, and said they will be watching President Obama’s State of the Union address tomorrow night very closely, hoping that he will talk about immigration reform.
“It’s ups and downs. I listen to him and I get excited and I hope we are going to get something passed,” says Jackie Aguilar a member of NC Dream Team.
Since 2009, lawmakers have debated the The Dream Act, legislation that would protect undocumented children who came to the U.S. before they were 18-years-old.
“It’s frustrating because I’ve heard about it since I was in high school,” Aguilar says.
She and other Latinos are tired of all the talk and are ready for action.
“It destroys our dreams. We get our hopes and then they stop us. We don’t know what to do or what’s next,” she said.