Students and teachers rally behind illegal immigrant - WSMV Channel 4

Students and teachers rally behind illegal immigrant

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Mercedes Gonzalez's parents brought her to the United States from Mexico when she was 11 years old. 

She's now 18 years old and a recent high school graduate.

She's here illegally and in May, she got caught.

"I was very scared because I knew my status and I was nervous," said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was driving home from a friend's house just before midnight on May 15. 

An officer pulled her over for speeding near the intersection of Harding and Nolensville Road. 

When Gonzalez couldn't show any form of identification, police arrested her for driving without a license.

What started as speeding turned into three nights in jail and now the possibility of deportation.

"They made me feel like a criminal and that's not what I was expecting, you know, just for some minor offense," said Gonzalez.

Representatives for the Davidson County Sheriff's Office said, like it or not, it's the law.

"We are operating under a 1996 law that was passed by Congress and we have deputies that are authorized by the federal government to do this," said Karla Weikal, a spokesperson for the Davidson County Sheriff's Office.

"I don't think it's very fair for me. I've been a good person during these years. I've been a good student and I just want to help the community," said Gonzalez.

At this point, Gonzalez doesn't know what the immediate future holds, but she does know she has support.

Teachers, fellow students and friends like Cesar Bautista are all rallying to the cause.

They've got petitions and are planning a march on Thursday from the Sheriff's Office to the courthouse.

"She deserves the opportunity and it just worries me because there's a possibility that she wont be able to do that and there's no crime in doing that, you know, there really isn't. She deserves to do that and to go one step further," said Bautista.

Representatives for Metro schools said they have no idea how many undocumented students they have because it's illegal for them to inquire about a student's status.

Gonzalez does not yet have an immigration court date set.

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