Tucson high school student has been released from immigration lockup
PHOENIX (AP) -- The family a Tucson high school football player has lived with for years says he is free after being released from immigration detention.
Thomas Torres has stayed with Lorena Rodriguez's family during his years at Desert View High School. Rodriguez is announcing the 18-year-old's release on her Facebook page, saying "OPERATION THOMAS COMPLETE!" A GoFundMe campaign that was purportedly organized by Rodriguez has raised just over $11,000, as of Wednesday afternoon.
But the circumstances of Torres' Tuesday release are unclear, including whether he'll graduate from Desert View High School on May 22 as scheduled.
Torres' detention last week prompted about 120 classmates to protest. Torres' classmates marched about 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) from the school to the sheriff's office to demand his release. They also called on all law enforcement agencies to not collaborate with immigration authorities.
Sheriff's deputies contacted the Border Patrol on Thursday after Torres admitted during a traffic stop that he was in the U.S. illegally. Rodriguez said Torres told her family that he was unable to produce a driver's license when he was stopped by sheriff's deputies. Arizona does not issue licenses to people who are in the county without authorization.
The Border Patrol initially held Torres, but has since transferred him to ICE. An ICE spokeswoman says she's researching his status.
Although deportation proceedings involving high school students who have reached adulthood are not uncommon, the outpouring of support from Torres' classmates seemed unusual. A large portion of the population in Tucson's southern district, where the school is located, is Mexican-American.