Jaime Leon Rivas, undocumented teen immigrant, released from detention

jaime.rivas.205x205.jpg
Jaime Leon Rivas.
Update: Jaime Leon Rivas, a nineteen-year-old undocumented immigrant who we wrote about last week (see below), has been released from detention, where he was awaiting deportation. On April 2, a week after his friends and family held a vigil outside the GEO immigrant detention center in Aurora on the occasion of his nineteenth birthday, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) granted his request for a "stay of removal." Leon Rivas will be allowed to remain in the U.S. for a year while he continues to fight his deportation case, his lawyer says.

Leon Rivas is still under ICE supervision, however, and is required to check in periodically with a deportation officer. He's also required to apply for a type of immigration relief known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that's available to young undocumented immigrants who, like Leon Rivas, came to the United States as children. He's also petitioning the court to overturn his deportation order.

There's other good news for Leon Rivas, too. Because he was able to complete some schoolwork while in detention, he's still on track to graduate from Snowy Peaks High School in Frisco on May 22. And after graduation, he has plans to get married. He and his girlfriend, Jenny Martinez, who is a U.S. citizen, recently became engaged.

Here's our previous coverage.

Original post, 1:03 p.m. March 26: Jaime Leon Rivas turned nineteen years old yesterday. But he didn't spend his birthday with his girlfriend, his friends or his family. No, the Summit County resident spent it inside the GEO immigrant detention center in Aurora, where his girlfriend says he's the youngest person in the custody of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. At 6 p.m. last night, his loved ones -- including staff from Snowy Peaks High School in Frisco, where he was set to become the first member of his family to graduate high school this spring -- held vigil outside the hulking building.

"I hope everyone can see this and know that it's wrong," says his girlfriend, 21-year-old Jenny Martinez. "Students shouldn't be deported. Students deserve to graduate."

jaime.rivas.and.kids.250x341.jpg
Leon Rivas and some young friends.
Leon Rivas and his brother fled gang violence El Salvador when Leon Rivas was ten years old. They were caught at the U.S. border and, according to immigrant advocates, coerced into signing a voluntary departure, which means the boys agreed to leave on their own. But they didn't do so; instead, they joined family members in Colorado and made a life here. Two years later, in 2007, ICE ordered that Leon Rivas be deported immediately -- an order that the agency didn't act upon until recently.

Leon Rivas was a troubled youth and had several run-ins with the police. According to an excellent story in the Summit Daily about Leon Rivas's case, he ended up in Colorado's juvenile justice system for offenses such as stealing out of unlocked cars. In 2011, a friend invited Leon Rivas to move with him to California, where he landed in more trouble. His friend was affiliated with the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, the same gang that terrorized El Salvador and had murdered Rivas's grandfather. According to the Summit Daily, Leon Rivas never joined the gang. But he was picked up after he asked a man for his money, at the gang's request, and the man gave it to him.

Leon Rivas ended up in a juvenile detention center in Colorado -- and he came out a changed person. His teacher, Jen Wolinetz, remembers that as a young teen, Leon Rivas was "mean, insubordinate and angry." When he showed up at Snowy Peaks, an alternative high school, after being released from detention, he was different, she says: "He is an incredibly kind person and incredibly genuine.... He acknowledges that he's done things wrong. Jaime is able to reflect with genuine perspective on the choices he's made and he's willing to talk about it." She describes him as respectful to teachers and a leader to his peers. At school, she says, "he crosses all groups and is really loved."

Continue for our previous coverage about the deportation procedure targeting Jaime Leon Rivas.



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
whosdp
whosdp

Let's see...he stole items from cars...but since they were "unlocked," that's not as bad.  He robbed a man...but since the man gave him his money, no problemo.  He's not illegal...he is "undocumented."  And the biggest injustice of all is that this poor, misunderstood lad had to spend his 19th birthday incarcerated.


It's clear, something needs to be done to prevent such exemplary individuals from the horrors of deportation!!!  His Civil Rights are being violated, particularly troubling considering he's at the age where he could be stimulating our economy by spending his entitlement money in the local economy!  America needs to WELCOME the Rivas of this world and deport the Koch brothers!!

mnieto420
mnieto420

lol, love reading the raciest comments.  Keep living up to your stereotype!

WetBacks4Sale
WetBacks4Sale

Another CRIMINAL alien let loose on the streets of American. Republicans AND Democrats love these parasites as they benefit both the left and right greatly. The right wing gets cheap labor and the left wing gets millions of new voters that hate our Constitution. Win Win for both parties.

bajarat
bajarat

Deport this bozo and be done with it.... it's the law.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@WetBacks4Sale  ... so if you Hate America so much, move to Afghanistan, chump.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@bajarat  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is THE LAW, you bigoted scumbag.

WetBacks4Sale
WetBacks4Sale

@DonkeyHotay How about I stay and the criminals that are invading my sovereign nation go back home to their third world cesspool? Illegal immigration is not guaranteed by the Constitution, but defense of our borders IS. Read it. Love it. Live It. La Raza and the rest of the  gang banging, economy crashing border jumpers can blow me......

bajarat
bajarat

@DonkeyHotay @bajaratAu contraire, DACA is an unconstitutional mandate by comrade Obama. Deport the lawbreaking cretin. End of story.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@WetBacks4Sale " How about I stay and the criminals that are invading my sovereign nation go back home to their third world cesspool?"


That ain't happening ... ever. So better start packing your bags now, you bigoted racist piece of crap.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@bajarat  ... well, until it expires, the DACA is the LAW of the Land!


bajarat
bajarat

@DonkeyHotay @bajaratNope.... it's temporary and expires. The sooner the better. then let the deportations begin! If you think the "progressives" have any chance of holding on to power after the ObamaCare debacle then you've been visiting too many pot shops using your EBT card.

bajarat
bajarat

@DonkeyHotay @bajaratDACA is not a "law," pendejo. Laws are passed by Congress, not decreed by some socialist tin pot dictator. This abortion is an unlawful mandate.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@bajarat ... too bad you bigoted racist dirtbags can't get it declared "unconstitutional" eh loser?


Until then, DACA is THE LAW of the Land.



Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...