Walter Lara is an honor student who has lived in the U.S. since his parents brought him here from Argentina when he was just 3 years old. Almost 20 years later, Walter is set to be deported this July 4th weekend.
On February 17, 2009, Walter was with his boss (a DirectTV contractor) about to get on a ferry that would take him to Fisher Island so they could work on some installations. In ten minutes, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities surrounded the vehicle and bombarded Walter with questions which he innocently responded to.
This is Walter's story --
This is my only hope for staying in the United States.
You see, my parents brought me to the U.S. at the age of three with a dream of giving me a better life. They worked hard to provide for my family and raised me to believe in the American Dream. I graduated from high school with a 4.7 GPA, excited to apply for colleges and kick off my career in animation and graphic design. It's only then that I found out I was undocumented. My parents never talked to me about my immigration status because they feared that this knowledge would cause me to think less of myself and my abilities.
It didn't--and I was accepted to The Honors College at Miami Dade College in 2004, where I graduated with Highest Honors and Distinction in 2006.
And now, at the age of 23, I am facing deportation to a country that I have no memory of or connection to, but I have not lost hope because I have faith that Sec. Janet Napolitano will do the right thing and stop my deportation until my case can be reviewed.
I know that Sec. Napolitano will hear our calls. This past Friday, Senator Bill Nelson wrote to her about my case and said that my case "illustrated the need" for Congress to pass the DREAM Act and Comprehensive Immigration Reform and that I have "earned the chance to live and work here and call America home."
Sen. Nelson is right, but Congress can't move in time to stop my deportation -- Sec. Napolitano can!
Please call today: http://call.seiu.org/9/walterlara
UPDATE, 7/1/09 5:00 p.m.: Voice mail boxes at DHS are full, thanks to more than 500 calls that poured in to Sec. Napolitano today. The campaign will resume tomorrow DHS reopens at 9:00 a.m.
1. Join the Facebook page as an act of solidarity and to find out specifics of Walter's case.
3. Follow Walter on Twitter