EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (CBS Connecticut) — An illegal immigrant was arrested by Customs and Border Protection agents while he was on his way to a movie festival to see the immigration film in which he stars.
Praq Rado, 31, and undocumented immigrant from Albania, was escorted off a train in Buffalo by federal agents Sunday. Rado was heading to the East Hampton Film Festival to take part in a screening of the movie “Dreaming American.”
According to Rado’s Facebook, the 24-minute short film is the story about his “immigrant journey” to the United States. The film shows how Rado allegedly escaped Albania without papers.
“If he is sent back to Albania, not only will he be separated from his loved ones forever but his now-public persona may further endanger his life,” the Facebook post states. “Albania may have officially proclaimed support for freedom of ideas, but the everyday possibility of persecution and death remains very common and very real.”
Lee Percy, who wrote and directed the short film, told the East Hampton Patch that he warned Rado about attending the festival.
“[H]e was excited about this festival,” Percy told the Patch.
According to the Patch, Rado – real name Preke Radoina – worked as a dancer in a New York City gay bar to help make ends meet.
Lead Border Protection Agent Michael Scioli told the online publication that Rado illegally entered the country in 2001 in Detroit and that an order to remove Rado was made in 2007.
Rado’s friends are trying to do everything in their power in order to stay the deportation.
“At this moment, his friends and attorneys are mounting a last-ditch effort to stay his deportation until his petition to re-open his case can be heard,” the Facebook post states. “Years of employment, a long-term relationship and a promising career in the arts might all be ruined. Praq Rado’s dreaming American may all be for nothing.”