“It would mean I’d leave a country and go back to a country that I don’t remember, a country that I don’t feel at home, and I don’t even graduate high school. Everything I’ve worked for, it’s, like, going down the drain in a matter of days.”
Valedictorian at high school, faces deportation order. [HuffPost]
Daniela Pelaez is valedictorian of her class at North Miami Senior High, in the international baccalaureate program with a 6.7 GPA, applying to Ivy League universities, and hopes to become a heart surgeon.
“Over my dead body will this child be deported,” said Miami-Dade Superintendant of Schools Alberto Carvalho, who exited North Miami High Friday morning holding the 18-year-old’s hand.
The pair joined a walkout protest planned by fellow students after a judge denied Pelaez’ request for a green card Monday and issued a deportation order.
According to the Huffington Post,
- Daniela came to the United States of America at the age of 4.
- Her family left Colombia in the late 90’s.
- Her mother is currently in Colombia (left in ‘06) for medical reasons.
- Daniela lives with her father, a legal U.S. resident.
- Daniela also lives with her brother, a member of the U.S. military, who is also a citizen.
- Daniela has a 6.7 GPA in the IB program.
- Daniela wants to become a heart surgeon.
- Daniela was denied a green card.
- AT THE AGE OF 4, 6.7 GPA, DEPORTED TO A NATION SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER.
- Did you understand all of this?
What does the United States of America stand to gain from this deportation? What does our nation stand to gain? A future scientist? Role model? Successful individual?
“I’ve been asked the question before: ‘Do I feel American?’ or ‘Do I believe I am?’” she told NBCMiami. “And I don’t think it’s a question. I’m American. I know the national anthem. I know the laws. I know what it is to be an American.”
Daniela is one of the millions of faces and stories that highlight the absurdness of our nation’s immigration laws. She should be applauded and exalted for her achievements, as an undocumented student or not. If this story touches you, I recommend that sign the petition to, at the very minimum, show your support.