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Facebook Friends, Change.org Rally to Prevent Deportation of Man They Don't Even Know

An L.A. college student organized an online campaign to prevent a man she never meant from being deported ... and it worked, at least according to the group change.org.

Jackie Mahendra, director of the org's immigrants rights campaign, told the Weekly today that L.A.'s own Jamie Alegre saw via Facebook that a friend of a friend's dad would be deported if something wasn't done.

She started a petition last month at change.org aimed at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Nevada and ...

... the man's deportation was stayed at the last minute. Cesar Carlos Silva has another year in the United States.

"Often when there's community support ICE will take a second look at a case, give them a stay of deportation," Mahendra told us.

The petition letter, which actually addresses President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, ICE, and Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller, says Silva tried to become legal but was the victim of a "scam" by an unlicensed attorney who allegedly promised clients help with legalization but didn't deliver.

Alegre saw the Facebook plea of his daughter, Astrid Silva, and responded on change.org. Her petition received nearly 600 signatures and got ICE to reconsider its decision within two days.

"I want others to know that it's not impossible to help someone just because they're far away," Alegre said.

The movement to prevent Silva's deportation included a demonstration in front of a Department of Homeland Security office in Nevada last month.

The movement was supported by "Dream Act-ivists in L.A.," Mahendra said.

She said the man's daughter, Astrid, is a "Dreamer" -- an undocumented college student -- who attended UNLV.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]


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