South Bay College Track Athlete Faces Deportation

Pursuing the American Dream, but without the proper documentation to go with it

By Diana Guevara
|  Friday, Oct 28, 2011  |  Updated 1:29 PM PDT
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A local student and track star is hoping to stay in the U.S. to finish school, despite being detained. Diana Guevara reports.

A local student and track star is hoping to stay in the U.S. to finish school, despite being detained. Diana Guevara reports.

An undocumented Chula Vista college student faces deportation, but a local politician has stepped in to fight for her freedom.

She is a Southwestern College cross country state champion.

At 20 years old Ayded Reyes is already being recruited by University of California Riverside and University of California Santa Barbara according to Southwestern College Cross County Coach Dr. Duro Agbede.

There is just one roadblock for this All-American track star. She is not a U.S. citizen.

"I know a lot of people might say you're not from here you're not supposed to be here, but what do you do when you have no control over it?” said Reyes.

Reyes was only 3-years-old when her parents brought her to the U.S. from Mexico, illegally.

Last Thursday night, that reality caught up with her at a park in Logan Heights. It was around 10:30 p.m., when she says a San Diego Harbor police officer came up to the window of her boyfriend's parked car and asked the two for identification.

"I showed him my Southwestern I.D. and all the I.D.'s that I could possibly find,” said Reyes. But she said the officer persisted.

“So he asked me if I had a Social Security card I said no I don't and he said then how do I know this is you? Then the next thing I know I see the Border Patrol van…so they took me away,” said Reyes.

Reyes was released by Border officials Monday. When her cross country coach heard what happened he stepped in and called Congressman Bob Filner.

“You can't assume someone is illegal. I don't have any I.D. on me right now,” said Filner.

Filner is working on a private bill, one which grants citizenship based upon special circumstances.

“Although private bills are very difficult to get through to Congress, introducing one should be a way to give her some safety for a while,” said Filner.

While that bill works its way through the system, Reyes plans to steady the course.

“What do you do? You just fight for it and you try to progress in life.”

Ed. note: A previous version incorrectly identified the officer as a San Diego police officer. The error has been corrected.

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