Walter Mencken 11:31 a.m., Feb. 1
College Student Faces Deportation For Violating Park Curfew
Ayded Reyes, a student athlete at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, is facing deportation after a run-in with police. Reyes, captain of the Southwestern women’s cross country team, was brought to the United States illegally by her parents at age three and has lived in the country without incident until recently.
On October 27, Reyes and her boyfriend were approached by an officer at Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego around 10:45 p.m. and told the park is closed to vehicles after 10:30. Upon requesting identification, her boyfriend provided a driver’s license and Reyes showed her college ID, which was deemed insufficient for police.
“He asked for my Social Security number, and when I said I didn’t know it, he went to his patrol car. He came back and asked me whether I didn’t know it or didn’t have one. By the time I told him I didn’t have one, the Border Patrol was already there,” Reyes told the Latin American Herald Tribune.
Taken to an Imperial Beach detention center, Reyes was only allowed to call the Mexican Consulate, which was closed at the time. She was allowed to contact her family the next morning, but was also pressured to sign voluntary deportation documents.
After community leaders learned of her plight they contacted the activist group Border Angels, whose founder Enrique Morones was able to convince Congressman and mayoral hopeful Bob Filner to intervene. Filner secured Reyes’ release and insisted she receive an immigration hearing before deportation. A trial is set for March of next year.
After suffering from severe dehydration while in custody, Reyes recovered after her Monday release and won the Pacific Coast Conference Cross-Country Championship race the following week.
“I wanted to show everyone who helped me that I’m a fighter,” said Reyes.