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Belton Man Faces Deportation After Traffic Stop

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BELTON, Mo. — Friends, family and even strangers attended a rally Monday to denounce the deportation of a young man who graduated from Belton High School and who attends Johnson County Community College.

When he was six years old, Jesus Torres came with his family to the United States from Mexico. He’s been here ever since, growing up, growing roots, and is now a college student, a fiance, an employee and a church member.

“This is my culture. I really don’t have much knowledge of Mexico or the way the life is,” Torres said.

A group of about 50 people at Monday’s rally say Torres, 21, is not a criminal, although a recent traffic ticket has him in legal trouble, which led to his deportation proceedings.

Torres’ supporters say he was pulled over for a violation related to his license plate, but they say it should not result in his deportation, as he has no criminal record. They have collected about 1,000 signatures on a petition to try to keep Torres in the United States.

“He loves this country,” said Wendy Mora-Cedillo, Torres’ cousin. “He feels here is home. Not there.”

After his traffic violation, he was immediately taken to a detention center to begin deportation proceedings, but he has since been released but was told he must leave the country by April 13.

“I have my family here and lots of friends here,” Torres said. “This is where I’m from. This is home. To me Kansas City is home to me.”

Supporters of Torres say they have collected close to one thousand petition signatures to keep Torres in the U.S.  You can find the online petition at action.dreamactivist.org/jesusmo.

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