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High school student detained by Border Patrol shares his story

Posted at 7:43 PM, May 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-11 23:27:40-04

TUCSON, Ariz - Thomas Torres, a Desert View High School senior who was detained by Border Patrol on May 2, is sharing how the incident went down, from his perspective.

Torres says things escalated with a Pima County Sheriff's Deputy when he could not produce a valid form of identification during a traffic stop. He was taken into custody by sheriff's deputies and turned over to Border Patrol.

In a Skype interview, Torres said when the deputy asked him for a social security number, he gave the deputy a fake number because he was scared. When the deputy looked up that number and it didn't belong to Torres, Torres said the deputy asked him to come clean. Torres says that's when he told the deputy he does not have a social security number and he was brought to the U.S. when he was five with a visa that has since expired.

His classmates at Desert View staged a march on Monday, demanding his release from Border Patrol. On Wednesday, Sunnyside Unified School District spokesman Victor Mercado told us Torres was free from federal custody.

Torres says now he is working with a lawyer. He says people think he's a bad kid, but he says he's a good kid who made some bad decisions. Torres says he wants to get his residency and citizenship so he can stay in the U.S. He says he's originally from Mexico, but doesn't have memories of living there, and his life is here now. He says his two sisters are U.S. citizens, born in Tucson.

Torres says he was accepted to Pima Community College, and hopes to become a chiropractor.

He has a court appearance on May 22, the same day he's supposed to graduate high school.