Attorney for detained student admits he 'doesn't have DACA'

Sandor Farkas
Collegiate Network Fellow

  • The attorney representing a UC-Berkeley student who was recently detained by immigration officials blasted the university in a series of tweets despite receiving pledges of support from the administration.
  • UC-Berkeley said it would provide “access to legal advice, attorney services, and other resources,” but declined to post bail for the student, who does not have DACA status.
  • Image via Twitter: @prernaplal

    Detained University of California, Berkeley student Luis Mora’s lawyer is waging a social media crusade in defense of her client while he awaits a hearing on immigration charges.

    As Campus Reform previously reported, Mora was apprehended by immigration enforcement agents on December 30 because he did not meet the criteria for President Obama’s DACA program.

    "Luis doesn’t have #DACA because he came here in 2009, a little after the cut-off date for DACA."   

    [RELATED: Immigration officials take UC-Berkeley student into custody]

    Mora was reportedly taken to Otay Mesa Detention Center, where he is awaiting a January 17 bond hearing and has been connected with pro-bono immigration lawyer Prerna Lal, who also happens to work at UC Berkeley as a lecturer and provides legal assistance to its immigrant population.

    An expert in creating social media campaigns to derail the deportation of young illegal immigrants, Lal has successfully lobbied UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ to issue a statement in support of her client.

    The statement noted that the school is ensuring Mora has “access to legal advice, attorney services, and other resources,” while informing students of  “the opportunity they have to donate to the bail fund” for Mora.

    [RELATED: UC system allots $5M in aid to illegals, legal immigrants not eligible]

    The school’s lawyer did, however, refuse to allow the university to pay Mora’s bail over fear of legal action, prompting Lal to tweet, “But it’s okay to pay $600K for security of white supremacists who come to our campus to incite hate and violence.”

    The previous day, notably, she had tweeted that Mora “doesn’t have #DACA because he came here in 2009, a little after the cut-off date for DACA.”

    “I have asked our government relations staff to work with our friends and allies in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., some of whom have issued statements advocating for our student’s release,” Christ’s statement added, and, according to Lal, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Representative Barbara Lee have offered their support.

    Apart from Christ’s statement, Lal claims that she has received little support from the university, complaining that her salary is too low and that staff who work with illegal immigrant students lack sufficient office space.

    In one tweet, she claimed that she is a “survivor of human trafficking” because her pay for part-time lecturing is so low, later expressing fear that the university will fire her for her critical tweets.

    In another recent tweet, Lal wished a “good morning” to “everyone except ICE aka the gestapo, and the Nazis serving in the current Administration.”

    Campus Reform reached out to Lal for comment on the matter, and is currently awaiting a response.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @SFarkas48





    Sandor Farkas

    Sandor Farkas

    Collegiate Network Fellow
    Sandor Farkas is a Collegiate Network Fellow at Campus Reform. Prior to starting this fellowship, he was a Tikvah Fellow. Farkas earned a degree in history from Dartmouth College, where he was editor-in-chief of The Dartmouth Review. Farkas also serves as an officer in the Virginia Army National Guard.
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