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Rally held to stop deportation of Durham teen

Posted July 19, 2011

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— A statewide Latino advocacy group and members of the community rallied Tuesday afternoon to stop the deportation of a Durham teen.

Fausto Palma-Guifarro, 18, said he didn't know he was illegal until he was detained by immigration officials on June 8 – the day before his graduation from Jordan High School in Durham. 

Federal agents had arrived at his apartment looking for someone else, but in the process asked for identification from everyone there. They found out that Palma-Guifarro had a deportation order against him. 

The teen was held at the ICE detention center in Cary, but was released and allowed to attend his graduation because of good behavior and his lack of a criminal record.

On Thursday, Palma-Guifarro will report to the ICE office in Charlotte, where he could be sent back to Honduras or receive a deferred action. 

Palma-Guifarro said he came to the United States when he was 12 to reunite with his mother who he had not seen since he was 6 years old and to escape gang violence. Palma-Guifarro's mother had permission to live and work in Durham. 

The deportation order stems from a 2004 incident where immigration officials stopped Palma-Guifarro and his older brother as they tried to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. Palma-Guifarro said an immigration judge gave them an order to attend court, but they did not attend because a notary advised his mother against it. 

"He was as much a victim as anything else," Palma-Guifarro's attorney Steve Monks said. "(That advice) caused him to lose some of his available remedies that we're seeking to redress now." 

Fausto Palma-Guifarro Durham teen fights deportation

Advocacy group El Pueblo and others gathered at Jordan High School, 6806 Garret Road in Durham, on Tuesday evening in support of Palma-Guifarro's efforts to remain in the country.

Palma-Guifarro said he feels like Durham is his home and said he wants to stay there with his mother. 

"The only thing I'm thinking about is my mom, because that's the only thing I got here. I don't have nobody else in Honduras," he said. 

The group said Palma-Guifarro is one of thousands of undocumented students in the country who would qualify for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, an immigration reform proposal that would allow foreign-born young people in the U.S. illegally to attain citizenship.

"Citizenship is the long-term goal for all immigrants that come to this country," Monks said. "He wants to be here legally. He certainly doesn't want to be here illegally. He came here without any choice of his own, as a 12-year-old." 

Palma -Guifarro says he wants to go to college and become a pediatrician. 

166 Comments

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  • Rebelyell55 Jul 21, 2011

    Not trying to mean, but since his mother was here, and was most likely being paid below min. wage, did she apply for assistant once she had her son living with her? If they want to report on something, dig a little deeper. Bet you would be surprised at what you find.

  • cqqlt Jul 21, 2011

    Are you kidding me? If he here illegally he should be sent back and he should have to pay for the trip too. His bank account or possessions should pay for his transportation back to Honduras. I am tired of hearing that these people do the work Americans don't want to. They come to NC. To work in the tobacco field. But the natural progression of an illegal is to then start working on a construction crew. They are doing my job. I can only get paid a fraction of what I am worth as a carpenter because of the illegal's working in this state

  • Dogs_Rules Jul 21, 2011

    This young man should join the armed forces and we will proudly welcome him and celebrate his naturalization.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 21, 2011

    but when all Hispanics are gone you guys are gonna cry and beg for them to come back because they are the ones making our money....abigailperezam.

    Don't think it will happen, no way, no how.

  • driverkid3 Jul 20, 2011

    Also, they are not living off welfare and medicaid because they CANT obtain it if they are illegal, therefore they arent taking anything away from anyone.

    BALONEY!!!!!!!!!!!

  • abigailperezam Jul 20, 2011

    They are not taking anything from you guys. All this comment are from selfish cold heated people. What if it was your kid who was in another country surrounded my gang violence and all that stuff ?wouldn't you do anything for them to be safe and have a better life? Everybody who is been races while writing this comments make me sick you guy have no heart ! but when all Hispanics are gone you guys are gonna cry and beg for them to come back because they are the ones making our money! & you guys call your self Americans , everybody here is just as illegal as them because i don't know if you guys have read the history book but we all came from an illegal family,. Real Americans? hahaha their are few of those in this country!
    YOU GUYS MAKE ME SICK!

  • cantstandya Jul 20, 2011

    These illegals are taking us for a ride and we are paying the bill they know our system better than most of us do to the fact it's how they make can work for a dollar less an hour,they get medicaid,food vouchers,free this and that for all those little young ones birthed here and for free.

  • chevybelair57sd Jul 20, 2011

    Aliens here without a visa no matterv how or why are still illegal and deserve deportation period. If these advocacy groups want to help these folks, leave with them and make their homelands better!!

  • NomoreKoolaid Jul 20, 2011

    So the less than one percent of pro illegal alien comments here are saying he has a right to be here and every other child/parent in Honduras or Somalia also has the right to come here illegally. You cannot discriminate.Why not ask half of China to join them while we are at it since things are really much better here. Guess what NEWS FLASH : we are heading into third world status in part due to 20 million + ILLEGALS and if you are so eager to join those ranks get you a one way ticket to any of those destinations , PLEASE LEAVE ASAP.

  • bigal02282 Jul 20, 2011

    b3bay, no matter how you spell it, ILLEGALLY HERE is still ILLEGAL. Making excuses just gets us madder around here. Those "JOBS" you mention are ones that CITIZENS could be doing. And YES, they are taking away PLENTY. What year is it? I don't see any Europeans running Indians off the Res these days.. It's 2011, and the CITIZENS of this country don't want, need or feel like supporting illegal immigrants from ANYWHERE. As it happens, there are 12 to 15 MILLION from SOUTH of our borders, so we've got a bone to pick with them.

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