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Connecticut resident detained in New Mexico by immigration fighting for freedom

A Connecticut resident and DACA recipient was detained in New Mexico by ICE while traveling with his girlfriend. Bryhan Ali Andrade-Rojas was traveling across t...

A Connecticut resident and DACA recipient was detained in New Mexico by ICE while traveling with his girlfriend.

Bryhan Ali Andrade-Rojas was traveling across the west coast when he was detained by ICE officials at an immigration checkpoint on January 17.

“I know that he’s sleeping on a floor,” said his friend, Samantha Andersen, who has been talking to him since he’s been detained. “People are defecating next to him.”

Bryhan is a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. It allows people brought illegally to the United States as children to receive temporary relief from deportation. It also allows them to work and go to school. Bryhan’s status lapsed in February of 2019.

“Even with the DACA lapse, nothing precludes this individual to apply for DACA again,” said Alex Meyerovich, an immigration attorney. “The application for DACA is pretty simple.”

Yet Bryhan’s friends who have been working to get back his freedom tell FOX61 they have received no word on when he will have the opportunity for a bond hearing. He can't access his files on his laptop, which preclude him from sending in his application. The application for DACA renewal is $495 and usually takes only a month or two to hear back on approval.

“Assuming it's a clean case, the gentleman came here as a child, just overstayed, no criminal issues, no immigration court proceedings in the past, nothing prevents the family from applying for a bond hearing [and] trying to get him out on bond,” said Meyerovich. “Then this way he can just apply for DACA renewal and then move on with his life.”

The Trump Administration tried to eliminate the DACA program in 2017. The Supreme Court is now deciding whether the Trump administration has the power to dismantle the DACA program after hearing arguments in November.

“If DACA is eliminated, that’s going to be bad news for DACA holders because they will be left without work permits. It will affect their employ-ability, ability to go to college, possible deportations; it might become pretty chaotic,” said Meyerovich.

Bryhan’s friends are working on accessing lawyers and raising money for his potential bond, which they say could cost up to $50,000. To access his Gofundme page, click here.