Photo: Bernard Pastor at a high school football game with friends.
Bernard Pastor of Ohio was detained over a month ago when, after a minor traffic accident, police officers discovered he was an undocumented immigrant and he was sent to immigration detention. Friday, he was finally released just in time for a last minute DREAM Act push.
The 18-year-old Guatemalan has lived in the U.S. since he was three years old, and like many, has never called anywhere else home. Pastor graduated high school with honors, was a star soccer player, and says he’s always considered himself American.
Once detained Pastor faced removal to Guatemala, but thanks to a request for deferred status filed by his attorney, Pastor’s deportation has been put off indefinitely, and is out of jail.
Upon his release, along with his supporters and fellow DREAMers, Pastor rushed to Washington D.C. to promote the DREAM Act, though sadly, DREAMers and their supporters saw the bill fail in the Senate Friday.
Though the bill failed to advance, DREAMers are still excited to know Pastor is free.
An excerpt from a letter Bernard Pastor wrote while detained by ICE:
A day of sorrow is better than a day of joy because through pain the heart is mended; it is through my difficulties that I learn. I have always known that each of us is here to be a history maker. This is true regardless of one’s station in life. All I can hope is that I serve as an example for others to understand the great injustices carved into the fabric of our broken immigration system. I pray that my example helps…others who find themselves in my shoes.