Community members will host a vigil tonight for Vicente Marcial Noyola, a local father of seven U.S. citizen children who is currently being held at the Wake County Detention Center.

Noyola was detained on March 7 after failing to appear in court for driving with a revoked license, according to the advocacy group Alerta Migratoria. Although they say Noyola didn’t know he was supposed to go to court, police nabbed him in front of his children before they headed to


that morning, armed with a warrant for his arrest.

“We saw all of it, me and my brothers, we saw it,” his eight-year-old daughter, Crystal, told the INDY. “I was scared and shy. I was crying. I want him to stay with us, and if he gets deported, he won’t get to see us anymore. And me and my brother, we might get sick.”

Noyola is the primary caretaker for his seven children, ranging in age from five to twenty-one. Without their father around, his oldest children have had to step in—and will likely have to do so again should the deportation proceed.

“It’s just been really hard,” added Noyola’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Alicia. “He’s been gone for three weeks. I’m always here with the kids. My brother is always here. I had to quit my job for this because it was kinda hard. Someone had to be home with the kids, so I had to quit my job to be with them. I hope a lot of people come out and support the vigil, us, my family, support my dad, and hopefully do something so he can come home soon.”

According to Alerta, Noyola has a hearing set for May


but could be transferred to a detention center—most likely Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center—before then. To push for his release, friends, family, and community members will host a public vigil tonight at

6:30 p.m.

at Raleigh’s Wake County Detention Center.

Noyola and his children are far from the only local community members reeling from the stress induced by an increasingly draconian immigration system. Last week, the INDY dedicated an entire issue to immigration and the various ways newcomers have shaped the state’s history.

“Without them, we would have had no town of Valdese, no Old Salem, no Plott Hound, no Family Dollar Stores, a distinct shortage of skilled tech workers, and a far less interesting food scene,” noted staff writer Tommy Goldsmith.