On Wednesday night, roughly 30 supporters of the Northwest Immigrant Youth Alliance gathered in the dark outside City Hall, lighting small candles for Gustavo Romero Alvarez, a 19-year-old undocumented Portlander who is slated to be deported today.

Gustavos parent, foreground, form a circle with their sons supporters.
  • Gustavo's parent, foreground, form a circle with their son's supporters.
"We all make mistakes. But for undocumented kids, even a small mistake can separate you from your family," said out-and-proud undocumented organizer Jaime Guzman. Locals have rallied around the deportation of undocumented youth recently, notably in the case of Hector Lopez, who was deported but then won the right to stay in the US.

Jobs with Justice organizer Marco Mejia tied Alvarez's deportation to the Occupy movement, noting that his family moved to the US to find better-paying jobs. "His family is a victim of the system. The real criminals are the ones who have destroyed the world with the economic crisis," said Mejia.

Tomorrow, Occupy is joining with the immigrant-rights groups for a big "Immigrant Rights are Workers Rights" march through downtown. A rally starts at 10am in the South Park Blocks and heads out to march at 11am.

More Mercury cover of recent immigration issues is here.