DACA recipient faces deportation after arrest by Grand Canyon University police

A campus incident led Grand Canyon University police to transport Cesar Valdes-Flores to federal immigration custody but that has officials at the Civil Rights Center is outraged.

A DACA recipient faces deportation after he was arrested by Grand Canyon University police for trespassing on campus.

Cesar Valdes Flores, 24, had been previously warned by GCU police about trespassing on campus. Valdes lives in a neighborhood near GCU.

On June 1, GCU police allege Valdes "motioned his hand like he was shooting a gun at a Campus Safety Officer," according to a GCU police report. Officers detained Valdez and according to a police report, they discovered he was carrying marijuana and a substance that later tested positive for meth.

GCU officers also found a Mexican ID card belonging to Valdes, according to the report. Officers contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement and were instructed to transport Valdes to the ICE Phoenix Field Office.

Valdes claims he didn't have drugs or a Mexican ID card at the time of his arrest. He says he has been in the United States since he was 3 years old.

A civil rights group has filed a complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on behalf of Valdes. The complaint states that police officials don't have the Mexican ID card they claim they found, which prompted them to contact ICE.

"The GCU Police Department essentially has become federal judges, juries and executioners based on allegations," said Silverio Garcia of the Civil Rights Center. "They're asking him to go defend himself in criminal federal immigration court and he hasn't been found guilty of anything."

A statement released by GCU Director of Public Safety Joseph Yahner states, "In accordance with ARS 11-1051, GCU police officers contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement... GCU police officers were asked to transport Mr. Valdes Flores to the ICE Phoenix Field Office."

A statement released by ICE says Valdes has been placed in removal proceedings and an immigration judge with the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review will determine whether Valdes has a legal basis to remain in the United States.

On Wednesday, Valdes posted a $7,500 bond and was released from ICE custody. He's due back in court in two weeks.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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