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“…doesn’t matter what they tell you. YOU belong here.”
DO NOT SIGN A VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE. EVER.
Walter Lara, age 23, came to the United States from Argentina 20 years ago. Unless Congress or the Department of Homeland Security intervenes in his case, he will be required to leave the U.S. by July 6th.
Walter, having lived in the U.S. since he was three, speaks English without any trace of an accent. Miami is the only home he remembers. Walter graduated from Miami Central Senior High School in 2004 with a 4.7 grade point average, fourth in his class. He dedicated over 1,000 hours of service to his community.
After high school, Walter attended the Honors College of Miami Dade Wolfson Campus. He earned an Associates of Arts degree in Computer Animation having maintained a 3.7 cumulative grade point average and used this education to do freelance web design. On the side, he has found time to be involved in sports and teach himself many aspects of computing. Walter Lara has never broken the law and continues to be an active and important member of his community. He aspires to work for Pixar as a graphic designer, but without a Social Security number or visa, and therefore unable to attend a 4-year college, he has worked instead as a cable installer for Direct-TV.
On February 17, 2009, he was on his way to Fisher Island for an install when he was stopped by I.C.E. officials. When he admitted to them that he is undocumented, Walter was arrested and jailed for 20 days. He now faces deportation within days to a country he has never known.
Walter can probably get his case re-opened on that grounds that he never received proper counsel. In the meantime, please take the following actions to keep Walter Lara in this country:
1. Sign the online petition
2. Join the support group on Facebook
3. Sign and send this letter to my members of Congress demanding that they do something!!
4. Send a letter of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
More footage of Walter Lara will be up soon.