SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Tonight the fight is over for an undocumented student. For a year, he’s waited on a judge's final decision about whether he can stay in the country or not.
David Morales has had sleepless nights for months thinking about what will happen if he was sent back to Mexico. His mother brought his younger brother and himself across the border when was nine years old. “To go back to a country that I've only seen on TV is going to be difficult,” said Morales.
Morales sat down with ABC 4 an hour before his deportation hearing. He was nervous about the outcome. The 20-year-old remembers the day he was headed to Louisiana on a Greyhound bus for a bible college visit where he wants to learn how to become a pastor. “The bus driver announced five minutes before the bus stopped we were going to stop at an immigration checkpoint,” commented Morales.
David was arrested and locked up for 17 days. For a year, he's been in and out of court- spending money he doesn't have for an attorney.
He didn’t have to say anything as he walked out of his final hearing this afternoon. His smile said it all. “I am feeling happy, but I am not satisfied, because this is one victory out of 12 million,” he explained gladly.
His case was administratively closed. This means no action will be taken. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would not talk about specifics. “They are just going to pretend this never happened and I'm going to go back to being an undocumented immigrant,” he lamented.
These rough moments have inspired David to become an activist.
ABC 4 first met him when he joined a multi-party lawsuit against the State of Utah for H.B. 497. That's the controversial immigration enforcement law that's still pending in court. It would allow police to check anyone they arrest for their citizenship. “To the federal government- they need to stop playing politics. This is not just a game between Democrats and Republicans, because it affects a lot of people. They are tearing families apart,” said Morales.
He will continue to fight for a path to citizenship knowing fully well he still has to look over his shoulder.