As the always controversial DREAM Act, which would create a path to citizenship for young people living in the country illegally who attend college or join the military, prepares to go before Congress for another vote, you don’t have to look very hard to find examples of undocumented students in school. Pedro Ramirez, a political science & agricultural economics double major at Cal State Fresno who is also the student body president, initially didn’t want to be held up as one of those examples. Ramirez had a fruitful academic career, a valedictorian of his high school class and a popular student body president at CSU Fresno, who did not speak publically about his immigration status. In fact, Ramirez didn’t realize he was undocumented before he started applying to colleges—born in Jalisco, Mexico his parents brought him into the U.S. when he was 3-years-old. On Tuesday the campus newspaper ran a story on Ramirez’s immigration status after receiving an anonymous tip and he was forced to go public with his story. How many more Pedro Ramirez’s might be in California schools eagerly watching the outcome of the DREAM Act?
Pedro Ramirez, Student Body President at Cal State Fresno