DREAMer Juan Sebastian Gomez' parents left for Colombia over a year ago. He finished high school and is now attending Georgetown University. Since the DREAM Act has been stalled for so long, Juan is still in limbo. He is doing very well at Georgetown. But the best grades won't protect him until Congress decides to do the right thing and pass the DREAM Act.
see dream act post "Juan Sebastian Gomez' Parents Deported," October 31, 2007
Though he's lived in this country since he was 2, Juan Gomez has no permanent legal right to stay in the United States, let alone a guarantee of a chance to graduate from Georgetown University
By Phuong Ly
Sunday, February 22, 2009; Page W10
Washington Post Magazine
For several minutes, Juan, who'd only seen photographs of the campus before, simply stared. A friend's mother who accompanied him on that late-August day last summer recalls that the brown-haired 19-year-old looked just like any other student in his jeans and polo shirt. But Juan felt as if he had landed in another universe -- a place light years away from the deportation letters, detention center jumpsuits and painful goodbyes of the previous year.
"Wow," he told his friend's mother, bounding up the steps to his new dorm. "This is so beautiful."
Juan was still beaming as he examined the sterile, white-walled space in Copley Hall that he would share with another student. "This room," he said, gazing at the two twin beds, two wooden desks and two dressers squeezed together, "is just great." He meant it. Juan felt lucky to be at Georgetown, even though, in terms of academic accomplishment, he clearly belonged there.
His record is a litany of overachievement: a 1410 out of 1600 on the SAT; high scores on 13 Advanced Placement exams, which earned him close to two years of college credit; and a top-20 class rank at a competitive Miami high school. But Juan doesn't have a clear right to be in the United States, much less at Georgetown. In 1990, when he was 2 years old, his family came to this country from Colombia on a tourist visa and never left. Once they were here, they applied for political asylum and spent almost 17 years building a modest life before their legal status finally caught up with them. In October 2007, after they were repeatedly denied political asylum, Juan's parents and grandmother were deported to Colombia, a country that Juan can't even remember. more