Continuing our discussion about Ayded Reyes from Tuesday, today we look at how the cross country runner and Southwestern College student is dealing with her potential deportation.
Reyes has been recruited by multiple Ivy League schools because of her incredible athletic gifts. Last year, she helped her team win the Pacific Coast Conference team title in addition to winning the individual championship. But Reyes has been unable to enjoy her success or to think about her potential athletic future – she primarily focuses on her deportation case, trying to show the U.S. government that she deserves citizenship.
Reyes’ coach is helping her fight for citizenship, along with Bob Filner, a California representative. “This is the time when Ayded would be happily visiting schools and making her decision,” Reyes’ coach said, adding that she is an “unbelievably courageous young woman.” Filner went a step further.
“This story cries out for human treatment,” he said. “She’s been here 20 years, she’s an exceptional young woman with no ties to Mexico, yet she was in jail for five days and was very, very close to being sent there. She has done everything right, her entire life. She does not deserve this treatment.”
The DREAM Act (which stands for “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors”) has still not been passed by the U.S. government, despite a flurry of proposals in the past couple of years. Such a law would grant illegal immigrants the ability to establish residency in the U.S., granted that the person has attended a U.S. high school, is under the age of 35, and displays “good moral character.”
Even though it is not yet law, with the DREAM Act is certainly on the minds of government officials, and with Filner in Reyes’ corner, she has a chance to fight off deportation.
Reyes’ attorney is cautiously optimistic. “She should and could be allowed to stay here,” he said. “It should all work in her favor, but it remains to be seen. Unfortunately, there is no consistency with these prosecutions.”
Source: ESPNW, “‘If they make me go back, I will be lost,'” Jamie Reno, Dec. 27, 2011