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Black Voices. Growing up in Bakersfield, Bello saw that many in his community shared his confusion about the limitations of living in the United States without a legal status. After he turned 16, Bello started helping his mother working the fields.
Over the years, Bello became a farmworker himself, leaving early in the morning to pick vegetables and fruit, while still studying in high school and college, Reyes, his mother, said. About two years ago, he enrolled in Bakersfield College, where he majors in political science and participates in several campus organizations, including Youth Empowering Success, a group that advocates for foster youth and previously incarcerated students. Bello plans to return to college this fall and get back on track to graduate, in part so that he can continue to help his mother, whom he has supported financially and emotionally since he was a teenager.
When Bello was first arrested by ICE in May , he was placed in detention and released at the end of August when other students, family and friends rallied to raise money for his bond. Many of them had admired Bello for the work he did at Bakersfield College and for being outspoken about his immigration status. After that first detention, Bello became an even more vocal critic of immigration policies, speaking and performing at rallies and school events.
In January, police in Kern County arrested Bello for driving under the influence, county court records show.
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Mehlman, however, said that ICE had a right to arrest Bello at any point since he was in the country without a legal status. According to the ACLU court filing, Bello also has a petition pending for a U-Visa, which, if granted, allows certain crime victims to pursue lawful status in the United States. About Us. Brand Publishing. Times News Platforms. Real Estate. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options.
His only offense, he claimed, was reading a poem. For the record:. Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio.