Julio Hernandez faces immediate deportation after being detained by Boarder Patrol in a Greyhound bus in Erie, PA.
A group of immigrant students and Bronx lawmakers are calling on immigration authorities to pardon a gay El Salvadorian student who faces imminent deportation.
24-year-old Julio Hernandez said he fled to the United States in 2007 after being victimized by gangs in his neighborhood because he refused initiation and because of his sexual orientation.
“They know that I am gay so they always harass me and say something bad. They told me if I’m there, they will try to kill me,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez is studying radiology at Bronx Community College.
He was joined Tuesday by other undocumented students that are part of The New York State Youth Leadership Council. The group is using Hernandez’s case to advocate for more rights for undocumented youth around the country who are trying to attain higher education.
City Councilman Robert Jackson and State Senator Nelson Castro attended the rally, which was held across the street from Bronx Community College. Councilman Jackson said the deportation suit was appalling and against everything America stands for.
“He’s going to school, he’s looking to educate himself and to be a productive citizen of our great country. And this country, with the statue of liberty, opens its arms to all people, no matter what your race, color, creed, national origin, or sexual orientation,” said Jackson.
Hernandez’s next deportation hearing is on August 9th.