Ayded Reyes is a 20-year-old student-athlete at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, CA. In October, Reyes was with her boyfriend in his car, parked at a port park after closing time, when a San Diego Harbor Police officer approached. Though they were not doing anything illegal, Reyes and her boyfriend were asked for their IDs. Unfortunately, Reyes could produce nothing more than her Southwestern student ID. A subsequent background check led to the discovery of her illegal status. This led to a nightmarish five days of incarceration while Immigration and Customs Enforcement attempted to get her deported.
“I didn’t even know that I was born [in Mexico] until I was in middle school. To me, well, I’ve always been a proud American,” says Reyes.
Thanks to the efforts of her coach, Duro Agbede, Reyes was rescued from deportation when Congressman Bob Filner intervened on her behalf. Hours later Reyes put on her running shoes and won the Pacific Coast Conference championship. On November 19th, Reyes finished an impressive fifth at the California State championships despite a fall and being run over.