Little girl pleads with Immigration not to deport grandpa

Charlotte, North Carolina, Apr 9 (EFE).- The Mexican Eduardo Mireles, a youth soccer coach in North Carolina, is running out of time to avoid deportation, while his granddaughter pleads with immigration authorities not to deport her grandpa.

"I don't want them to take him away from me, he's very good, he has been with me since I was born, he's company for me and I love him very much. Please, help me keep him with us," Sharytin Hernandez, 8, said tearfully.

Sharytin, mother Diana and grandmother Patricia Salazar, among other family members, took part Monday in a vigil for Mireles in Charlotte organized by the NC Dream Team.

Mireles has until April 19 for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to suspend the deportation order issued by a judge last December.

His son, Eduardo Mireles Jr., recently sought protection under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last summer and hopes that ICE does not deport his father.

"Time is running out. My dad has done nothing bad, he was just driving without a license like thousands of Hispanics do in this city," he told Efe.

Elisa Benitez, coordinator of the NC Dream Team in Charlotte, told Efe on Tuesday that there are still "possibilities" that the Mexican can avoid deportation and noted that her organization has convinced ICE to annul similar cases.

She said that Mireles has lived in Charlotte for 14 years, never had any problems with the authorities, trains little league soccer and has been a volunteer for the Boy Scouts.

Mireles was arrested in August 2010 when returning home with his wife because his driver's license had expired.

"They took me to the county jail, and in eight days sent me to an immigration center in Georgia, after which the family posted $5,000 bail. Since then I've been fighting to stay," he told Efe.

Mireles is one of around 14,000 immigrants who have been put in the process of deportation in Mecklenburg County since 2006, most of them for minor traffic infractions.