After Jessy received Israel's call, he told the other employees at the restaurant. "Julia [the cook] started crying and then the dishwasher started crying and I was trying not to cry and I was like, 'All right, let's just pray' and we all three of us we got together, we held hands and we prayed," says Jessy.
On Friday night, Jessy went to the Cumberland County Jail to pay Selvin's bond, but ICE had put a hold on it, meaning that no amount of money could get him out. The feds feared Selvin might disappear if he was released.
"It was a really dark night. I got home, prayed a lot, was thinking a lot," Jessy says. "From there on we just started trying to figure out what we were going to do."
For a while, he had a "grim view of justice." Then he remembered social worker Lauren Como, whom he'd met a few months earlier at La Familia. He sent her a panicked e-mail asking for guidance, and Lauren connected Jessy to Kyle de Beausset, a Harvard student and leader of the Student Immigrant Movement.
A community of activists was forming. If Selvin became the movement's face in Maine, Jessy became its voice — in Selvin's words, "the bridge" connecting one young man's case to the larger immigration-reform movement.
Along with Kyle, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project of Maine, and other members of El Sinai, Jessy began to target senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to pass the DREAM Act.
Through his connections with Kyle, Jessy traveled down to Washington DC this past summer to speak at the March for Immigration Reform.
"That's where I got my first taste of it," says Jessy.
Back in Maine, El Sinai organized vigils for Selvin, and helped organize a Maine March for Immigration Reform.
"What they're doing is revolutionary," says de Beausset. "If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be able to organize for the Dream Act."
At the vigil, Selvin speaks. Jessy translates for him:
"Sometimes God lets things get difficult. So that you can see He's working in you." He announces that ICE has slated him to return to Guatemala on December 18. "When I was in jail, my dream was to stay in this country."
He continues: "After so many years living here, I now feel part of this country."
Selvin mentions lawyers who looked at his case, who told him not to bother. It couldn't be won.
He explains why he's struggled so hard.
"I have many dreams to improve and become better as a person. And perhaps it could be that some people don't have such great longings. When you do have big dreams, that makes you fight for them," says Selvin. "The fight is still not over for me."