Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fresno State Student Body President is Illegal Immigrant

And he refuses to step down:
Pedro Ramirez, Fresno State's student body president, is an undocumented immigrant serving in the position without pay.

Ramirez, 23, attends school on scholarships and pays in-state tuition. California is one of 10 states that permit undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition -- a position that was upheld by the state Supreme Court this week.

After his election last June, he told the administration he would serve without pay -- a $9,000 stipend -- because he could not lie on employment papers. On Tuesday, an anonymous tip to the college newspaper forced Ramirez to go public.

Ramirez, who came to U.S. at the age of 3, said he did not know he was not a citizen until he was a senior in high school. As long as he can remember, he said, his parents -- a maid and a restaurant worker -- have told him he must work hard and achieve the American dream. He said they did not tell him he was not born in this country until he began applying to universities.

"I knew my parents were from Mexico, but a lot of people's parents are from Mexico," he said. "I grew up American."

Other than college counselors and administrators, Ramirez told no one of his status.

"I just kept it within. One of those things you don't tell anyone," he said. "But now I'm almost relieved to have to be open. Congress is about to vote on the Dream Act, which gives college students a path to citizenship. So, you know, here I am. It's me. I am one of the thousands whose fate is in their hands."

Ramirez said he would not resign his position unless the students who elected him demanded it.

And here's this in an update:
Fresno State President John D. Welty said in a statement that Ramirez personally notified him after his election about his immigration status and volunteered to serve without pay. Welty said that Ramirez has fulfilled all the requirements of an AB 540 student and that his status does not bar his participation in student affairs.

Associated Students Inc. "requirements do not address immigration status, so Mr. Ramirez was not prohibited from running for ASI office," Welty said in his statement. "I commend Mr. Ramirez and other AB 540 students who are following state statute as they seek higher education.”
Also at the university's newspaper, The Daily Collegian. Plus, "Statement From President Welty."

I'm a graduate of Fresno State. I'll be contacting the foundation office to let folks know of my displeasure. Readers, if they're so inclined, can do so as well, at the link.

RELATED: At Michelle's, "
As expected: California court upholds illegal alien student tuition discounts," and "Stop the illegal alien student bailout: DREAM Act target list; Plus: Sen. Sessions’ critical alert."


Rusty Walker said...

Pedro Ramirez must have been exceptional to achieve Student Body President. This is just sad all the way around. Pedro Ramirez is a victim of his parent's illegal immigration and now the Americanized child has to suffer an identity crisis of sorts. Imagine if now he has to go to Mexico, a country he is a stranger to. I'm here in Arizona, this is another example of why we need to solve this illegal immigration problem, the children are victimized and humiliated too.

Barbara said...

This is a 23 year old student, who I imagine is about to graduate. So what happens to him after Fresno? Does he go back? Probably not. The system is so flawed, but the dream act would not fix it-if anything, it will encourage more families' entering illegally.
And the fact that California upheld the legality of illegal students paying in-state tuition? Give me a break!

AmPowerBlog said...

He won't be going back, Barabara. He's a poster boy for amnesty.

Anonymous said...

Call Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Charles DeMore of ICE's San Francisco office to have Ramirez arrested:

630 Sansome Street, Room 890
San Francisco, CA 94111
Main (510) 267-3800
Fax (510) 267-3870