By Aaron Montes
El Paso – Alexi Cruz may not have realized he had friends in this border community until he was on the verge of being deported.
Cruz, 24, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who has lived in the U.S. since he was 14 years old, was detained in early November by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after his car broke down on the way to Arizona. He was on his way from his home in San Antonio to see his mother in Arizona because authorities had apprehended his sister. His wife, Anayanse Garza, said that Cruz sought help after his car broke down in New Mexico near the Arizona border and was questioned by law enforcement officers about his residential status. The Border Patrol was called to pick him up.
Immigration advocates said authorities in Lordsburg, N.M., racially profiled Cruz and were wrong to begin the process to deport him because he is eligible for deferred action designation with Homeland Security. The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, who is handling Cruz’s case, said Cruz had a clean record and cited the 2012 U.S. policy that “certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removalfrom the country or from entering into removal proceedings.”
After Cruz was detained, Garza contacted La Mujer Obrera, a border women’s advocacy group and other human rights activists to support the release of her husband…