A student at the University of California Berkeley is being held by officials in San Diego after breaching his visa regulations.
Luis Angel Mora Villota, a 20-year-old pre-law student – who moved to the United States from Colombia on a visa aged 11 – is currently being held at Otay Mesa, a private prison facility located less than two miles from the Mexican border, according to The East Bay Times.
After making a wrong turn, Mora accidentally entered a border checkpoint, according to his lawyer.
UC chancellor Carol Christ released a statement saying: “He is not alone, nor are those working to secure his freedom. Thank you to our students who are organizing and working on his behalf.
“In particular, because of the efforts of Rising Immigrant Scholars Through Education (RISE), a student group dedicated to the empowerment of undocumented students, great progress has been made in this case.”
Christ also said UC Berkeley realise the urgency of the matter and is working hard with lawyers and RISE to help Mora.
A bail fund has been set up by students at the university to help free Mora.
“The continued engagement and commitment of students, staff and community partners to respond to the specific needs of undocumented students has been invaluable, especially given the complex legal issues,” said Christ
“Their efforts are truly unprecedented and continue to shape our understanding of the undocumented community’s evolving needs, and to shape the services, policies and protocols designed to effectively address them.”