Bernard Pastor was brought to the US at age 3 to escape religious and military persecution in Guatemala. He graduated from high school last year top 5 in his class. His dream is to go to the seminary and serve his community as a pastor of a church.
He is American in every sense except for a Social Security Number. He often sang the National Anthem before his team’s soccer games, volunteered in music ministry at his church, and was even nominated to be Homecoming King.
On Saturday November 20, he was on his way to help at his church when he was involved in a fender bender. The police came, immediately took him to jail, and started deportation proceedings. He was transferred to a jail hours away from his friends and family and faces immediate deportation unless we act NOW.
He said he has been re-reading his Bible since his arrest.
“My life is in God’s hands, where it has always been,” said Pastor. “I am not praying for myself. It is better to pray for other people than oneself. I know I’m here for a purpose, even if I don’t know what it is. Not a leaf falls from a tree that God does not know about
By now, you have heard of Bernard Pastor, the exemplary young man from Reading, Ohio. Despite assistance from your office and many community leaders, Bernard still sits in Morrow County Jail, hours away from his family and friends.
Senator, the DREAM Act remains his only option for freedom and an opportunity to serve as a Pentecostal minister in the community he loves. He has been in the US since the age of 3. Sadly, Bernard's story is indicative of many other undocumented young people in our country. The DREAM Act, with the help of your vote, will go a long way to rectifying this injustice.
Senator Voinovich, you have always served Ohio with honor and a desire to find common ground with your colleagues. In your farewell speech to the Senate, you highlighted many examples of bi-partisanship in which you were able to forge common ground and find real solutions for the good of the American people. The DREAM Act is such an opportunity.
In closing, please reflect on thoughts from Bernard himself -- part of a letter written from his jail cell:
"I have always known that each of us is here to be a history maker. This is true regardless of one's station in life. All I can hope is that I serve as an example for others to understand the great injustices carved into the fabric of our broken immigration system. I pray that my example helps pass the DREAM Act because it is the DREAM Act that will help others who find themselves in my shoes. I feel that this is the purpose that God has for me, and I will never fight his will."
Please join us, your constituents, supporters from around the country, a diverse inter-faith community, as well as academic and military leaders from across the country who support the DREAM Act. We hope and pray that Bernard is able to come home to the community who loves him.