Sunday, June 20, 2010

Eric Balderas is free, for a little while

Eric Balderas, a Harvard College sophomore studying molecular and cell biology, was recently granted a stay of deportation. Eric was picked up by immigration authorities after trying to use a Harvard ID card to get on a plane. His story is one of many arguments for the DREAM Act, which would enable undocumented young people, brought to the United States as children, to earn citizenship if they met a specific set of conditions (earning a high school diploma, college degree, or serving in the military). This would transform the lives of many members of our society, including some who matter very much to my family and me.

Around these parts, Harvard actually has a significant number of students in this situation, in part because it can offer full financial aid to young people who are not citizens or legal residents. But it is only a temporary refuge, as an article from the Crimson explains. The article puts particular focus on one Harvard student who is applying to medical school this year; I don't know when and whether she'll go, but I can only hope that she joins us in the hospitals and clinics, as a colleague who never has to doubt that she has a place here.

Here's a Crimson news video from earlier on in the saga, interviewing Eric Balderas.


Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Eric. It can be so traumatizing. The US immigration system can be so inhumane. I really hope that he can stay focused in his studies at Harvard. THank you for sharing his story.

Joe Wright said...

Thanks. I know that some people think the DREAM Act should be deferred in favor of comprehensive reform but I think we should have both, and in the meantime, young people like Eric shouldn't have to wait.

Todd Marmon said...

People with the skills Eric has should be welcomed with open arms into this country. That would certainly help jump-start our sagging economy.