Family's Reaction - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/27/04 - Nacogdoches

Family's Reaction

"A truck just pulled behind my mom's car and asked for me, and said get out of the car, that I was arrested. They told me to put my hands behind my back and they arrested me then," said Daniel Romero, who faces deportation.

Daniel says that he was then taken to the county jail. He was held there until he was told he and several others were going to Beaumont, from there possibly deported.

"I'm looking forward to going to college and studying criminal justice, and one day become a cop. I felt real good that I got a scholarship going somewhere, but I don't want to ruin that," said Daniel.

To his friends and family, Daniel seems like a good kid, but he has had run-ins with the law. He's recently completed probation for leaving the scene of a traffic accident last year. Daniel was also arrested after he reportedly grabbed his girlfriend's wrist during an argument at school, and although no charges were filed, he was suspended from school and the soccer team. Even with those strikes against him, Daniel says that he has never had any intention of joining a gang.

"My mom and my dad raised me a way that I should never look at gangs for any reason. It's just the wrong thing to do," said Daniel.

Gerargo Romero, Daniel's father, says he feels bad about the way Daniel was taken away from him because he is not a criminal. He says his son is a real nice guy and he was wrongly taken.

Many in the community rallied to help Daniel and raised over $6,000. They used $5,000 to post his bond, and the rest went to begin the process that will make Daniel and his family naturalized citizens. Even the INS officer that handled Daniel's paperwork kept in contact with the family and seems to agree that he is a good kid.

"He's done all of the paperwork, he put the minimum charges that he could on Daniel's paper work, and has told us that he feels like Daniel is a good kid. He spent time talking with him and he has done everything he can to help us," said Claudia Fields, an NHS soccer mom

Daniel returned home yesterday to a crowd of his friends and family. To look at him laughing with his teammates, you may think nothing happened, but the look on his face as he reads an article about his arrest shows his fear of being deported.

"It just, it would ruin my whole life, my plans on the future and stuff, and what I want to do in the United States, what I would want to become. It would just ruin the whole thing," said Daniel.

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