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Desert View High School student detained by Border Patrol released

Posted at 11:45 AM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 14:45:23-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A Desert View High School student who was detained by Border Patrol -- sparking a student walkout -- has been released.

According to Sunnyside Unified School District spokesman Victor Mercado, 18-year-old senior Thomas Torres is free from federal custody.

About 120 high school students in southern Arizona protested Monday to demand the release of their classmate, who they say is being held for possible deportation following a traffic stop.

Torres was taken into custody Thursday by sheriff's deputies and turned over to Border Patrol.

Mercado said Torres, 18, has a court date on May 22, the same day he is supposed to graduate. He has attended the school for four years.

Lorena Rodriguez, a family friend who launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for Torres' legal costs, told KGUN9 earlier this week that Torres was a toddler when his relatives moved from Mexico to the U.S. "to seek a better future."

Rodriguez said Torres' family had long since returned to Mexico and he had been living with her family as a close friend of her brother, who also is scheduled to graduate.

She said Torres called the family from a detention facility in Casa Grande. He told them he was driving when he was stopped by sheriff's deputies for going slightly over the speed limit, but was unable to produce a driver's license.

Arizona does not issue licenses to people who are in the county without authorization.