by: Elsa Gillis
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Mario Seijas, a senior at Northwest School of the Arts, said he received a phone call from his friend, Gustavo “Gus” Zamudio, last weekend.
“When I heard that over the phone, I freaked out, I was like, what? He said, ‘I’m being detained by immigration,’” Seijas said.
Zamudio’s friends and classmates, Seijas and Devyn Bauer, talked to Channel 9 about what has been a devastating and shocking situation.
They said Zamudio, who is Mexican, but has been living in Charlotte with his immediate family since he was a child.
“Everyone he knows, he’s grown up with, he’s familiar with, they’re all here,” Bauer said.
The teens said they are scared for their friend, especially at a time when President Donald Trump is cracking down on illegal immigration and changing policy, which is still taking shape.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement records, Zamudio is in custody at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff website shows that the 18-year old was arrested and charged with larceny by employee last week.
This week, Sheriff’s Office officials officials told Channel 9 that everyone arrested is asked where they were born and if they are an American citizen.
Those who aren’t go into the 287 (g) program, are asked more questions, and that information goes to immigration officers, who decide if someone is detained or not.
The department has been part of the 287 (g) program since 2006. The program allows deputies to run inmates’ names through immigration databases to determine if they’re undocumented.
ICE told Channel 9 that they would have a statement on this case on Monday.
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