Phoenix High School Track Coach's Deportation Set for Friday

Miguel Aparicio.jpg
Miguel Aparicio, 37, is set to be deported Friday. He hopes that a miracle happens and one day he can go back to coaching cross-country here in Phoenix.

​​Miguel Aparicio's story is a prime example of how the U.S. immigration system can take someone from one extreme to another.

In 2009, as he was driving down to a friend's house in Casa Grande to do some electrician work, he was pulled over for a minor traffic stop. In the process of the traffic stop the officer found out that Aparicio, 37, is an undocumented immigrant. 

Now, he is fighting an order of deportation that is set for Friday morning. 

But before his run into the law, Aparicio was enjoying his life as a cross-country coach for a few Valley high schools.

He first started as a volunteer coach in 1997 for South Mountain High School, but then moved on to Cesar Chavez High School. His most successful experience as a coach was at Alhambra High in Phoenix, where his team has won various competitions.  

However, It wasn't until his arrest, in 2009, that the school district decided to fire him and ask him not to have any connection with the cross-country team. 

But he defied the order. Ultimately, the head coach was fired for allowing Aparicio to have contact with the cross-country team. He would take the team outside of school premises to allow Aparicio coach the students.

"I'm sure the school district knows that I would still coach," Aparicio says. 

When he first applied at South Mountain, he had a valid Arizona driver's license, he got it before the state started asking for Social Security numbers to apply for one. In order to present a Social Security number, he made up one. 

The school district even fingerprinted him and did a background check on him, he says. Somehow he was still cleared to be a volunteer cross-country coach.

He re-applied every year, so each year the school district officials always had a chance to find out about his immigration status, but they didn't.

"I believe the school district office wasn't doing their job," he points out. "Because I was able to work for...many years."

Even though Aparicio was a hard worker (working as an electrician by day and coaching by night) and his passion for cross-country made him a likable guy in the community, he hasn't been a saint. In 2002 he was charged with a DUI and lost his driver's license.

But even so, the district let him go on as a volunteer coach after he had brought up the incident to district officials.

By this time "the [school officials] must have known that I was illegal," Aparicio asserts. 

It wasn't until 2009, when he was face-to-face with the law and the Arizona Republic started covering the story, that the district let him go.

"They said they were getting too much negative attention," Aparicio recalls. "So, they told me to go away."

His story that has made him another poster boy for comprehensive immigration reform, Carmen Cornejo, an activist who fights for immigrants' rights, claims.

"A lot of people [in the community] know him for his compassion and his involvement in sports," Cornejo explains.

In order to stop his deportation there is an Internet campaign to alert the general public about Aparicio's situation.

The last time Aparicio saw his native home in Mexico City he was only 15. He was brought to the United States by a smuggler, who was paid by Aparicio's grandmother. So he hopes that a miracle happens and he's allowed to stay.

"All my life is here," he explains. "So I don't know what I would do if I have to go back."

As of now he has to be ready to leave the country on Friday, unless he receives an extension so he can keep fighting his case.

"That's the only hope I have," he says.

But the chances of that happening are slim. Particularly as the Obama Administration is deporting more illegal immigrants these days than Obama's predecessor George W. Bush.


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161 comments
Kitsugab
Kitsugab

This to inform you of a person living and working in the United States illegally. The names that this person assumes are as follows: Gabriela Sanchez (her niece), Karla P. Durazo (her aunt), Patty Durazo (her sister),Julieta Sanchez (her aunt), Patty Sanchez (her sister/her niece) Rocio Sanchez (her sister), Mayra Viramontes (her cousin), Karen Durazo (her cousin),Kenya Durazo (hercousin), Karina Sanchez (her cousin).All of the names assumed by her can be substantiated through her facebook account which is under the name Gabby Sanchez.Her Employer is: Dr. Larry Stark   3201 W. Peoria Ave # A-100   Phoenix, AZ 85029Her assumed Social Security # is her Aunt's Soc. Sec. # 611-32-7757 (Karla P. Durazo) who actually lives in California.She drives a pathfinder with AZ lic. # AHT4587 Her address is: 2220 W. Mission Ln. #1095 (which is in Larry Starks name /  Phoenix, AZ 85017    co-signed for)  SRP Acct # 919-863-000    (which is in Larry Starks name)Her Phone # 602-628-3116   (which is in Larry Starks name)Family Assistance Administration Case # 00564738 (Gabriela Sanchez)Dental work provided under the name Patty Sanchez. And full medical (BCBS)is paid for by Larry StarkHer sons name is Carlos Flores-Sanchez and he graduated from Cortez High School.She was raised by her Grandmother who was a whore in Mexico. This young woman makes it easier for other illegals to obtain medications includingnarcotics and evade citizenship tests through the Doctors office that she works in.Also supplying them with false identification and documentation. I am very concerned about the illegal activities (Document Fraud, Identity Theft, Conducting crimes in America) that she is involved in. Please address the above issues as soon as possible.

Concerned Citizen 

Firefotocom
Firefotocom

I have 2 questions  first How did he get a job at a working at a high school being an illegal alien someone didn't do his background check or he stole someones ID 2, He was here for over 15 years why didn't he start his immigration papers he did not want to be found out  

Carlos
Carlos

Good, he shoudl be deported....breaking the law is breaking the law, no matter what he did here in the US....and it's NOT undocumented Immigrant...it's called ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT or ILLEGAL ALIEN.

n8whit
n8whit

Seems he not only broke the law by being here illegally, cutting in front of the millions doing it the legal way, but he broke our labor laws asw well. Bye. 

bigriggs
bigriggs

Send him back home. Another stupid sob story.

maxonepercent
maxonepercent

And in other good immigration news there is a new bill in the US House to make E-Verify mandatory nation wide!

"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a press release on Tuesday endorsing the Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2164) introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith, which would require all businesses in the country to begin using E-Verify within three years of enactment.  The National Association of Home Builders and National Restaurant Association offered their endorsement of the bill during a hearing held by the House Immigration Subcommittee earlier today"

Now we can start getting rid of even more of the Miguel Aparicios who are illegally taking jobs away from American citizens.  Good news all around!

maxonepercent
maxonepercent

Funny how this story ignores the fact that this guy was taking a job away from an American citizen until he got caught DRUNK DRIVING.  Now an American has a job and this drunk is hopefully off the American streets for good.  This is a big success story.  Let me be the first to say to the "coach":

na-na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na-na, hey-hey-hey, good-bye

Rosas29
Rosas29

Coach has really impacted my life. i consider him my second father. he has been there for the entire team and every onther runner that wasnt he supported every one

Bobby
Bobby

Wait a minute. I did not realize the "coach" was here since he was 15. Yes, he probably shouldn't be deported in this case. However, the guy is still no model citizen in my book. Drunk driving, defying the school system, making up a Social Security # etc.

Bobby
Bobby

The coach was fired but "defied the order". Thinks about it. The guys here illegally, is working as an electrician illegally, and when officials of the US school system says he is fired, as they have the right to do. he ignores them and goes on his arrogant way. Can you say, balls?

Bobby
Bobby

In order to present a valid S.S. Number he made one up.

windy
windy

I have known Coach Miguel a little longer then a year and from that i could tell you what a great man he is and how much he means to many people in this community. He has given more to this community then MOST Americans! He may have made mistakes in the past...but don't we all?...are you telling me that every person we look up to right now hasnt had some troubles in their past? He is a good example of a community leader, he has done a lot for many of his runners without expecting anything back. Come on now he has been a volunteer Coach as in he gets no pay. I understand that many people have their own opinion and i am not going to waste my time and argue with you because its most certain that i am not going to change your mind. But I really think its unfair to send my coach back to a country he no longer knows. He has trained runners who are american citizens to get them to a state level, trained runners to win a state championship, help them get scholarships, and acheive their goals...and like i said before without expecting anything back. And now the only thing he is getting back is....deporation from this country he has been calling his home. Sit down and think about how unfair that is. Yeah Bobby there is immigrantion laws i understand that...but the only reason he has violated this law is because the U.S doesn't give him the opportunity to become a citizen. Its harder then you think buddy. Trust me he would love more than anything to become a citizen...so i hope they give him that chance.

Farah Espinoza
Farah Espinoza

I am very upset at what is going on and happening to coach Miguel, but right now I don't know what to think or say other than, " who the heck do you think you are Bobby?"

Jason
Jason

Under normal circumstances, I would be inclined to make a snarky remark like "Fuck the criminal illegals. His useless brown ass needs to be rounded up and shipped back to wherever he came from."

However, after reading this article, I think Mr. Aparicio should be granted a green card. It appears that he enjoys what he does for a living, works, pays taxes, etc. He seems to be a motivator for students to actively pursue their dreams.

While I agree with the article that he is no saint, it appears he has reformed himself and made himself even stronger. That to me, is the true definition of a warrior. This man needs a green card. Now. 

Keith
Keith

Bobby and jmfay, you are in the same league with Sarah Palinwith your ignorance of American history. From the beginning it has been the poorest and most despised immigrants (despisedby bigots like you) that have done the hardest and most dangerous work to buildAmerica – from the slaves brought here against their will to pick cotton (many of them were Muslims), to the Irish and Chinese who built the railroads inthe mid-1800s.  The Chinese, like the blacks, were considered less than human, and thousands of them died doingthe most dangerous work like handling  unstable explosives that carved out apath for the railroads through the Sierra Nevada. Today it is the same withlatinos who do the dirtiest, hardest work with little gratitude, and then are usedas scapegoats during hard economic times by candy-assed bigots who’ve likelynever done a hard day’s work in their lives. Next time you're stuffing your pie holes at the dinner table, think for a minute about where your food comes from.

Runner
Runner

Thank you Coach Miguel, many of our lives have changed tremendously, thanks to all your support and encouragement. Not only did you train us, you taught us how to have heart for the sport. Running has become a huge part of my life, and it has brought me many happy moments  and even better opportunities and its all thanks to YOU. Keep up the great work!

Those of you who are on coach Miguel's side, lets be the bigger person and don't reply to those ignorant,worthless,stereotypical comments. They come from uninformed, disrespectful  persons who really don't matter ans have no place to judge Coach Miguel.

Going Independent
Going Independent

Bobby - whatever your're on I want some. It's amazing how you look at the same things we do and see something so different. You're like the mother at the passing out parade who said - Look, everyone's out of step except our little Johnny.

Erika Gutierrez
Erika Gutierrez

Coach Miguel Aparicio May be an illegal immigrant, but deep down inside is an all american man. I've known coach Miguel for already a year and in one year I learned so many things about him one important fact I learned about him was his passion to run. With that passion that he cared so much for he decided to share his successes with a group of teenagers that would soon love the competitive sport of cross country. This man trained us mentally tough to get through 110 degree weather and endurance to get through at least 15 miles of flat concrete floor, huge inclines of hills, and high elevation in the white mountains. I know one thing for sure this man helped me accomplish many things he taught me no matter how hard any obstacle in life can be, you always over come it just keep pushing yourself to make yourself better. Sure he may be an illegal immigrant but one thing he isn't is a criminal. He's a hardworking loving Man with a big heart that deserves to stay in this country. These word coming from a 15 year old girl I know people may say She's too young to know anything but one thing I know for sure is he is a true American and a hero to all of us, his runners

Bobby
Bobby

Charged with a DUI and lost his drivers license.

Well, people make mistakes. But I have to wonder how much respect a person has, that enters a country illegally, works there, and then drives drunk, endangering citizens of that country. If he drove drunk in Mexico, I couldn't care less. But you see, he's now OUR PROBLEM.

Alfredlopez152
Alfredlopez152

Coach miguel is not just a coach to me he is a mentor a friend someone i can always count on to talk about my problems. He is very helpful and has taught me many valuable things about life.

Zommere
Zommere

Coach Miguel was the single greatest impact in my life as a person and as a runner. He showed me what it took to be one of the best and the meaning of hard work. For years under his training I was able to be 4th in a state competition, get recruited nationally ranked Junior College win three national tittles with my team and get recruited into a D1 school. Even now that I graduated with my degree I still run marathons because of him. He shows every person that he reaches that they can be much better than what they are if only they put the effort and time to do it. He was born in Mexico but he was a child when he came over no one told him it was against the law. He probably didn't find out he did anything wrong till people began to have biases against immigrants because they didn't know who to blame their problems on. There are many more people doing worst thing that deserve what are trying to do to him. 

Our Immigration system needs to get corrected and blamming everything on illegals is not the answer bobby. 

Miguel Angel Gutierrez
Miguel Angel Gutierrez

Coach Miguel Aparicio should be given the chance to stay because like he said his life is here and many know him enough to know he is a good guy he's helped many people and he's inspired people to keep believing in their dreams because I can clearly say if I didn't meet him I wouldnt have achieved what I have now and I know for a fact others may just see him as just another illegal immigrant but he's not he's made it to college completed his coarses graduated and worked hard to earn his job as a electrician so he's not stealing anything he's earned it and that's why he deserves to stay after all I know it's been said too many times but if our ancestors came illegally after taking over and then considering themselves legal and the natives were then kicked out and deemed illegal by those same ancestors

Bobby
Bobby

Can't Miguel wish for miracles in Mexico?

HebertoChavez
HebertoChavez

I remember we went out for a run. It was August around 4 P.M.the location was South Mountain. We started the run and I didnt think i was going to be able to stay up with the guys or Coach. After about 4 miles into our run i started slowing down, over thinking it, I was letting the heat get to me, but what do you know.? Coach Miguel was right there talking to me, telling me to push, telling me not to quit. And so we ran for 6 more miles and finished back where we started. That day i knew coach was going to teach me to believe in myself. That day I knew he was a coach that really cared about his runners.

HebertoChavez
HebertoChavez

Coach Miguel is one of the greatest persons i know. He is extremely generous and wants the best for all of the teens he coaches. He is the best coach ive had and he has pushed me to do things i never thought i could do. Coach makes me think positive about things, if i had an issue about anything he was there to talk to me about it. He is part of the family here. When ever we needed something, he was there for us :D i love our coach miguel. and i know with the support we have, we will make this possible :D coach miguel you will continue doing miracles here with the runners

FDMC
FDMC

First of all, I have known this man for less than a year, and let me tell you something, he's the greatest coach I have ever met (and that's including all the coaches I have ever had playing basketball or softball). Second!! (this is for those of you who don't know anything about the situation and decide to put your worthless input in) this man was NOT hired by the district. If you read carefully (maybe even slowly...) you'll find that he volunteered as a coach (therefore no pay, no job <--- get it? He wasn't stealing a job because there WAS NO job to begin with!). And third, this man has been working with teenagers, both legal and illegal, and he has had a great, positive impact in these kids lives. I've never seen so many teens excited and enthusiastic about a sport (a sport that requires many hours of training, which are hours he VOLUNTEERED). Fourth, please don't say that undocumenteds steal jobs and scholarships. Doesn't America (American copanies, universities, colleges, employers, etc) want the best of the best??? Don't have hatred when someone who doesn't have the status you call legal gets a scholarship/job versus someone with poor skills or weak education (and has a legal status). I'd rather have a smart mentor, doctor, teacher, electrician, etc. that is illegal than have a person who solely got by based on their status (legal).

Bobby
Bobby

You have to admit, there are a lot of Americans that wish other Miguels, coaching here illegally would be deported. Time to celebrate, but not before we find the school district beurocrats that hired him in the first place and fire their assess.

Irvin Parada
Irvin Parada

Coach Miguel is a great man that has really affected my life in so many ways. He has taught me to do so many things no one else can teach me. He should stay in the U.S.!! He has helped shaped my American dream, while living his.

Pecee69
Pecee69

As a LEGAL immigrant, who spent and extraordinary amount of money and a considerable amount of time to obtain legal residency in this country, well, forgive me if I do not weep, gnash my teeth or wring my hands for these people. He has had 17 years to alter his status in the USA and did nothing except lie to officials to hide is illegal presence in this country. The suspicion that some local officials turned a blind eye to his illegal presence here for so long is irrelevant.

KeepCoachAparicioHOME
KeepCoachAparicioHOME

Undocumented immigrants are not stealing any jobs. It's frustrating that people keep blaming them for the fact that there aren't any jobs. Many of the jobs undocumented immigrants take are tough, back breaking jobs that pay even less than minimum wage, and citizens would think twice about taking those jobs.  The country IS in desperate need of jobs, and a boost to the economy, by no means am I disagreeing with that, but instead of constantly blaming undocumented immigrants, we need to start holding people in power accountable and also big corporations that ship business to foreign countries because of cheap labor.

An immigration reform is long overdue. It's almost impossible to come legally to the U.S. It takes years and years, and thousands of dollars, by the time they get their status, their families will have starved. It's necessary to fix this broken system. It's necessary for the U.S and for future immigrants. We're a nation of immigrants that are lucky to have found the American Dream. Now people are being selfish because they were born here. The only people that even have a right to disagree are the Native Americans, or what, did you all forge that undocumented immigrants took over their land??

matt gordon
matt gordon

One has to wonder how the undocumented immigrants managed to steadily grow in numbers over the years, yet rather quickly in the last couple years has the subject been treated as a dire emergency. All of a sudden, when there were probably less folks sneaking northward across the border because of the bulemic U.S. economy, the sky is falling because the undocumented immigrants are stealing our jobs, our hospital beds and - per the TeaBaggers- stealing the country itself. Well, the immigrants and a black president apparently conspired to steal the White House, according to some fringe wingnuts. However, I submit that while the issue of undocumented immigrants and immigration reform have always deserved more attention and genuine effort at resolution, the private prison companies that wrote, lobbied and "donated money" to bring SB 1040 to fruition.

guest
guest

"I believe the school district office wasn't doing their job," he points out. "Because I was able to work for...many years."The illegal alien makes a tacit admission of his guilt and demonstrates full knowledge of the consequences for his unlawful presence in this country. By his own "logic," he should never have been employed by the school district to begin with.glad to hear that the unnamed head coach was fired for his involvement.

jmfay
jmfay

For too many years; too many people have enabled illegals to exist here, steal jobs that would have gone to legal residents and as well driven down wages for the same, educated them and their US born children and basically stolen the American dream from so many struggling and trying to do things the right way.

This man needs to be deported.  That school district and anyone employing him fined heavily so the next time they have the chance to employ an illegal even in a volunteer job; they will think 2 or 3 times and then say no to them.

4th year of a deep recession.  Our own citizens are in need.  Why do we have time and help for illegals but not for them?

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