Students rally to keep friend in US

October 2, 2013 4:54:28 PM PDT
A group of students gathered in Chapel Hill to help keep a friend from being deported.

The group risked getting arrested when they held a small demonstration outside Rep. David Price's office. They vow to stay outside the office until the congressman steps in to help their friend Francisco "Paco" Hernandez.

Hernandez, 24, has been living in the United States for 10 years. He has applied for permanent citizenship, but that paperwork has not gone through. He is facing deportation next week.

Hernandez is asking Price to call ICE and urge immigration officials to grant him a stay of removal. Paco says this is his last hope.

"I have my family here, my friends; everybody that I love is up here. If I was to go back, I'd be starting at zero. I have nobody anymore, and I have no place to live," Hernandez said.

Price was not at his office Wednesday, but issued the following statement:

"Members of my staff have met with Mr. Hernandez-Alvarado on multiple occasions to provide assistance as he proceeds with his case and to relay his concerns directly to ICE. As my staff have explained to Mr. Hernandez-Alvarado, I cannot force a federal agency to come to a specific conclusion in a legal matter such as this one, but I have done everything I can short of that to ensure he receives a fair and impartial hearing. The privacy agreement that Mr. Hernandez-Alvarado signed with my office when he sought my assistance prohibits me from discussing the specifics of his case publicly in any greater detail than this."

Two people were arrested Wednesday evening for refusing to leave Price's office.

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