Harvard Student Detained in Texas For Not Being a U.S. Citizen
Nineteen-year-old Harvard University student, Eric Balderas was detained on June 2, 2010 after he attempted to use his university student identification card to board a plane from San Antonio Texas to Boston. Balderas is not a United States citizen and was held by immigration because he had lost his Mexican passport that he uses to travel domestically and internationally.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have released a statement saying that the agency will not pursue a deportation case of Balderas. According to published reports, Balderas was granted deferred action, a method to stop deportation based on the merits of the individual case.
Balderas’ lawyers have reportedly advised Balderas not to comment to media outlets while the case is still pending, however, friends of the molecular and cellular biology Harvard student, who is attending the university on a private scholarship, are saying that he will apply for a United States work-permit to eventually obtain a permanent immigration status so that he may have a career in cancer research.
The university officials are in full support of Balderas’ pursuit of American citizenship.
“Eric Balderas has already demonstrated the discipline and work ethic required for rigorous university work, and has, like so many of our undergraduates, expressed an interest in making a difference in the world,” said Christine Heenan, the Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at Harvard.
Political action committees have also reportedly reached out to Balderas as they feel he would be an ideal test case to headline the proposed DREAM act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act). The federal bill would provide illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship from their college enrollment or military service.
Balderas was released the next day to fly back to Boston.
Via USA Today