CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A small rally took place in Uptown Charlotte Saturday to protest immigration policies and to support a Charlotte teenager facing deportation
Two weeks ago, 18-year-old Gustavo Zamudio was charged with embezzling $3000 from a Myers Park grocery store. The native of Mexico was transferred from Mecklenburg County to a federal immigration detention center in Georgia. A judge denied bond for Zamudio last Thursday.
Fearing the teen may be deported for his crime, about 30 friends and supporters gathered at Marshall Park on E 3rd. Street. Many carried signs reading "No Ban, No Wall, No Hate."
Andrew Fede of the group "Charlotte Against Hate" organized the event. Zamudio's mother attended and through an interpreter, thanked the crowd for supporting her son. Zamudio hasn't lived in Mexico since he was five.
Devyn Bauer and Anna (who asked us not to use her last name) are two of Gus Zamudio's best friends.They took the long drive last week to Lumpkin, GA to attend Zamudio's bond hearing. They said it was extremely painful to see their friend in this situation.
"He looked at us like we were leaving him forever and that was the most painful thing that I'll ever have to experience," Anna said.
"I've gotten pushback, especially from family and even friends. They say, 'back off, lay off, is this really worth it?'" Devyn said.
They think it is.
Zamudio is scheduled to appear in a Mecklenburg County Court on Thursday for his criminal charges. His attorney, Carnell Johnson, said they're looking at several options to keep Zamudio in the country, including seeking asylum status.