Friends try to prevent boy’s deportation

Teachers, administrators and officials are lobbying the Department of Homeland Security to allow a 17-year-old boy from El Salvador to remain in the United States and study nursing in Glenwood Springs.

Jose Mendoza Turbin in February reported to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Grand Junction, prepared to be deported to El Salvador.

Officials, however, took no action, and Mendoza Turbin returned to Glenwood Springs, where he remains under a deportation order while preparing to study nursing at Colorado Mountain College under a full scholarship provided by Glenwood Springs residents.

He now has submitted a request through his attorney asking Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to intercede on his behalf.

“It is clear that deporting Mr. Mendoza Turbin will not benefit the United States, and in particular it will not benefit the community of Glenwood Springs,” 75 residents said in the letter to Napolitano.

Signers of the letter include Mayor Bruce Christensen, Glenwood Springs High School Principal Paul Freeman and several teachers and physicians.

Mendoza Turbin, who is seeking asylum and legal status in the United States, was sent to the country four years ago by his parents, who feared he would be recruited by gangs in his homeland.

No timeline has been set for action by the federal agency, said Ginny Badger, a Glenwood Springs High School instructional assistant who worked with Mendoza
Turbin when he enrolled in English-language learner classes.


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