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High School Student Detained By ICE Who Inspired His Classmates to Stage a Rally Has Been Released From Detainment

On May 6th, roughly 120 students of Desert View High School in Tucson, Arizona staged a rally to protest ICE’s detention of their classmate, Thomas Torres. Like the rest of Desert View’s senior class, Torres was scheduled to graduate on May 22nd. But now, his future is more uncertain.

At the May 6th rally, students carried home-made signs with slogans on them such as “Thomas is the American Dream” and “Sin justicia no hay paz” (“Without justice there is no peace”). The students walked around 4 miles from their high school to the local sheriff’s office in solidarity with the detained teen.

According to a close family friend, Torres was arrested on May 2nd when he was pulled over in a traffic stop.

According to family friend Lorena Rodriguez, whose family has housed Torres since his parents moved back to Mexico, Torres was pulled over by police for going over the speed limit. Torres was unable to provide a driver’s license at the time of the stop, and admitted to law enforcement that he was undocumented. The police officer on duty proceeded to call Border Patrol, who took Torres into custody.

It wasn’t long before the local Tuscon community took action to protest the detainment of Torres, who friends describe as a “hardworking young man”.

According to the GoFundMe page set up to raise funds for Torres’s eventual legal defense, the young man is a law-abiding member of the community and deeply involved in school and sports, like football. “He moved here from Mexico when he was young,” said Rodriguez. “He’s also worked at restaurants busing and cleaning tables, doing yard work and finding side jobs; no job is ever too small or big for him”.

According to Rodriguez, Torres was released from the Case Grande detention center on Tuesday night.

Rodriguez took to her Facebook page to celebrate the victory she helped coordinate. “I want to give a huge thanks to every single Desert View student, teacher and faculty member who stood by our side throughout this traumatic experience,” said Rodriguez. For now, in the words of Rodriguez: “OPERATION THOMAS COMPLETE!”.

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