SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A UCSD student is on the cusp of deportation after making a wrong turn on the way home from the mall.
Orr Yakobi, 22, is a ‘dreamer.’ He went to the Las Americas outlet mall with his friend, Ryan Hakim, on Sunday. The mall is located near the U.S. Mexico border in San Ysidro, and Yakobi and Hakim made a grave mistake on the way home.
“To get back home you take the 805 north, but we took the south by accident,” Hakim said. Hakim says he was driving and the road forced them into Mexico. When they turned around, officers flagged Yakobi. They questioned and detained him shortly.
“That was the last time I saw him,” Hakim said. “They basically told him you're going to be taken to another facility. Then another guy came in and told him to put his hand behind his back, and he was handcuffed in front of me.”
Yakobi’s parents hired Jacob Sapochnick, an immigration attorney. Sapochnick says Yakobi’s parents brought him to the U.S. at a young age. He qualified for the DACA program, and the U.S. is the only home he’s known.
Sapochnick says while dreamers are not allowed to leave the country and come back unless they have a special permit, Yakobi’s case was an honest mistake and he should not be deported.
“He didn’t mean to do it,” Sapochnick said. "He literally drove out the border, made a U-Turn, explained that to the officer, (and) they refused to listen.”
Friends say Yakobi is a computer science major at UCSD and an honor student who is set to graduate this year.
Sapochnick says as far as he knows, Yakobi is being held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He hopes to start the process of negotiating his release.