#FreedLuis: Cal Student Released from DHS Custody

January 21, 2018

After spending more than two weeks in DHS custody, Luis Mora Villota, the third-year Cal student who had been detained at Otay Mesa Detention Center, was released yesterday on a minimal bond by an Immigration Judge with the Department of Justice.

Thanks to a campaign spearheaded by RISE – Berkeley and the outpour of support from the Berkeley community, Luis Mora’s story quickly gained media traction, and garnered attention from his representatives, including Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Dianne Feinstein, who called and wrote letters on his behalf.

While his deportation proceedings are ongoing, Luis Mora is free to continue his studies and he will return in classes at UC Berkeley next week. He was represented by USP Attorney Lal for his bond proceedings, and she will continue to represent him in removal proceedings, and seek lawful permanent residency for him. Mora and Lal will also work together to ensure that we can use the money fundraised for his case for other students and community members who are detained.

While we continue to ask for your patience and compassion with regards to legal services given our immense caseloads, appointments for legal support can be made online here with the USP paralegal, and USP legal administrative staff.

We know when our community members are ripped from their homes and taken away from us, the incident can cause fear, pain and bring up vicarious trauma. We ask that our students continue to seek counseling services at UC Berkeley’s Tang Center.

Undocumented Students Program