Video via @Sojourners: How Friends, Facebook & Prayer Stopped Deportation of Bernard Pastor
In November 2009, Bernard Pastor, an 18-year-old undocumented student in Ohio, was stopped by police for a minor traffic violation and detained. ICE held Pastor in federal detention with plans to deport him to his native Guatemala, though his parents had left Guatemala with Pastor when he was 3 years old. When Pastor’s friends discovered that he was in detention, they created a Facebook page titled “Free Bernard Pastor.”
“That page became a catalyst for information, and the local media started getting involved as that Facebook page blew up,” says Troy Jackson, senior pastor at University Christian Church in Cincinnati and a local community organizer. As soon as Jackson heard Pastor’s story, he also created a simple website, PrayForBernard.com. The local faith community and Pastor’s classmates added to the content on both sites, and eventually Pastor’s story was picked up by local and national media.