Supporters hold rally for jailed undocumented man

March 9, 2012 7:44:53 PM PST
The momentum of support is growing behind an undocumented man who is locked up at the Wake County Jail. The Winston-Salem man was arrested last week after protesting at a state immigration committee hearing at the General Assembly.

Now, Uriel Alberto is holding a hunger strike. Supporters told ABC11 that he hasn't eaten in a week, and won't do so until he's free.

Alberto's supporters gathered outside the jail Friday evening in a show of solidarity. They made signs and spoke out against his incarceration.

Alberto was arrested last Wednesday for disrupting a committee hearing on immigration, and charged with disorderly conduct.

According to supporters, reforming immigration law has been Alberto's passion. Two others were also arrested but later released.

Alberto's bond is only $2,000 but supporters said immigration and customs enforcement officials have prevented his release.

"By him taking a stand like that, like the other two, they're telling other youth like me and around the state that we don't have to be afraid anymore," said supporter Jose Rico.

Supporters said Alberto is on a hunger strike, fighting the same laws that keep him behind bars.

"What's going on with immigrants in this country is unjust and I'm here to stand up for immigrants throughout North Carolina and throughout the country," said supporter Ashley Fischer. "And what Uriel did was incredibly brave and I'm here to support him."

Alberto's advocates said he's a young devoted father, college-educated, and motivated.

"He's someone who deserves to stay in this country," said Fischer. "And by deporting him, ICE isn't doing their jobs. They're ripping apart families."

Some supporters have also joined Alberto in their own hunger strike.

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