Should student deportation be handled in the same way as that of adults? While many will agree that illegal immigrants should be deported, what happens when the person facing deportation has been in the country since they were a toddler and are valedictorian of their high school? Sadly, Daniela Pelaez is facing just that while also awaiting news of her applications to prestigious colleges including Yale.
Palaez was brought to the United States from Columbia when she was only 4 years old. The senior at North Miami Senior High School now awaits her appeal with an immigration judge. Thankfully the Immigration and Custody Enforcement division issued a statement on Thursday that they would not take any immediate action and once the appeal goes through, they will determine whether an exercise of discretion is warranted.
Another sore point in this story, you know besides the fact that this is the kind of person needed in the American workforce, is the fact that her father is a legal resident and her brother has served with the United States armed forces. So what this judge is telling her is that her brother can stand up for the freedom of Americans but she can’t be one and that student deportation is how this country works. Palaez is quickly becoming the face of the Dream Act which would help illegal immigrants like her who have good intentions and were not the ones that intentionally broke laws.
Her story does put a desirable face on the issue and will help even those with deeply held beliefs that immigrants should be deported see why the Dream Act is the right thing for this government to do. In fact DreamActivist Florida has started a petition to help keep both Pelaez sisters in the country. Of course, there will still be those lobbying for Pelaez and her family to be thrown out of the only country she has ever known and sent back to a war-torn country she has no memories of.