Julio Calderon received the news via text message while in class. Tears soon followed.
President Barack Obama’s announcement last month that many undocumented immigrant students and military service members would no longer have to fear deportations and could legally work in the United States represented a small victory in four years of advocacy and lobbying on behalf of his classmates.
As a student organizer for Students Working for Equal Rights, Calderon spent countless hours lobbying Congress to pass legislation known as the DREAM Act. But even as his advocacy efforts paid off for his fellow students, the Honduran immigrant’s personal dream remains unfulfilled: Calderon is not eligible for the new policy change because he entered the country illegally two months after his 16th birthday.
“I left class feeling happy that all our work over the last few years was worth it,” Calderon, 23, said following Obama’s announcement.