PORTLAND — Advocates for a Guatemalan man who faces deportation are urging Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to intervene in his case.

Selvin Arevalo’s presence in the country came to the attention of federal immigration authorities in April after he fled the scene of a minor accident involving his work van. Arevalo had entered the country illegally a decade ago as a young teenager and had been working as a house painter and supporting his family in Guatemala. He had been attending night school and was on the verge of receiving his General Equivalency Diploma when he was detained.

Arevalo’s supporters say he came to the United States to flee poverty and gangs. They cite his accomplishments and contributions to the Portland community as reasons that he should be allowed to stay.

This afternoon, supporters including a friend and leader in Arevalo’s church, a representative of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and advocates for immigration reform will urge the Maine senators to intervene with the Department of Homeland Security on his behalf.

Arevalo’s supporters also want the senators to press their colleagues to support the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors legislation, also known as the DREAM Act. The legislation would provide ways for some undocumented young people to earn legal permanent residency and citizenship.


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