Detained undocumented UC Berkeley student could miss spring semester

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Jaleen Udarbe/Courtesy

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UC Berkeley junior transfer Luis Mora, who was recently taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, was denied a supervised release Friday night, meaning that he may miss his spring semester at UC Berkeley, according to a tweet from Mora’s attorney.

Mora was taken into custody by Border Patrol in San Diego on Saturday night. He was transferred into ICE custody at Otay Mesa Detention Center on Wednesday.

According to Prerna Lal, Mora’s attorney, the ICE director told Lal in an email that he will not grant Mora a supervised release. Instead, Lal said, the ICE director will defer to the court to make a decision. ICE will continue to detain Mora at Otay Mesa, which may cause Mora to miss his spring semester at UC Berkeley, Lal tweeted.

According to Mora’s girlfriend, Jaleen Udarbe, Mora’s U.S. visa expired two to three years ago. Mora currently has an AB 540 plan, which qualifies him for in-state tuition, but his application to be granted DACA status was denied.

Mora’s story gained attention after Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education, or RISE at Berkeley, a campus immigrant rights organization, began a social media campaign in Mora’s defense.

Since the campaign launched Tuesday, prominent figures including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as well as U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, have reached out to ICE on Mora’s behalf.

YouCaring fund has been created by RISE for a bond once it is set. The fund has raised $3,855 as of press time.

Amber Tang is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ambertang_dc.