More than 100 students in Tucson, Arizona, took to the streets Monday (May 6) in support of a classmate who was apprehended by border agents just three weeks before he was scheduled to graduate from Desert View High School, CNN reports.
Thomas Torres-Maytorena was pulled over on May 2 in a routine traffic stop. The 18-year-old student informed the officer he was an immigrant of undocumented status. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department issued the teenager a citation for “displaying a plate suspended for financial responsibility, no mandatory insurance, no valid driver’s license and no current registration,” according to a statement CNN obtained from the sheriff’s department. Shortly after writing the ticket, officials turned Torres-Maytorena over to United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
At press time, the student was in CBP custody, with a court date scheduled for May 22—the same day as his high school graduation. In a statement to CNN, CBP said that Torres-Maytorena is a Mexican citizen.
Torres-Maytorena’s friends chanted his name during their protest in front of the sheriff’s department, according to CNN.
“We’re here to get our friend back,” classmate Daphne Anselmo told CNN affiliate KOLD. “This shouldn’t be happening right now. Thomas should be in class.”
KOLD also spoke to Sunnyside Unified High School District spokesperson Victor Mercado, who said the students are worried about their friend and they walked out of class to “raise awareness as to what took place.”