ICE detained 2 undocumented UC students. Latino California lawmakers are demanding their release

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Following the detention of two UC students by Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, the California Latino Legislative Caucus wrote to ICE to request their release, according to a tweet published Tuesday by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher.

Campus junior transfer Luis Mora was taken into custody by Border Patrol in San Diego on Dec. 30, according to a Facebook post made by his girlfriend, Jaleen Udarbe. He was later transferred into ICE custody Jan. 3.

Mora’s attorney, Prerna Lal, tweeted Monday morning that a bond hearing has been scheduled for Jan.17.

Orr Yakobi, a UC San Diego student and DACA recipient, was also detained by Border Patrol at a checkpoint in San Ysidro on Jan. 7 and was transferred to an ICE facility Tuesday night, according to the Triton, UC San Diego’s student newspaper. Yakobi was released from the Otay Mesa Detention Center on Friday afternoon.

“This is not consistent with anything that anybody has said at the federal level on who they are trying to detain and … deport,” said Fletcher. “We need to take extraordinary steps when we hear these kinds of cases and ensure that our young people, who are in school doing their best, can resume that activity.”

California Sen. Ben Hueso and Fletcher serve on the caucus as chair and vice chair, respectively. According to Fletcher, they both represent South San Diego and went to community college in the district.

Fletcher said she hopes the statement will help address the disconnect between the concerns of the federal government and those of California. By bringing attention to the issue, Fletcher said there is a higher likelihood of students (such as Mora and Yakobi) being able to exercise their rights, such as the right to a hearing.

The situation is a reminder to all UC students that they need to remain vigilant and continue to advocate comprehensive immigration reform, according to Fletcher.

“There are some folks who don’t fit within the ‘Dreamer’ definition and that’s not going to be enough,” Fletcher said. “We have among us some of the most talented California students who don’t have the ability for a legalized status and we need to remain vigilant in fighting for that.”

Hueso and Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education at Berkeley, or RISE, spokespeople could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Contact Jenny Weng at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jennyweng1999.