Fresno student body president admits to being illegal immigrant
November 18, 2010
The student body president at California State University — Fresno has been forced to publicly admit that he is an illegal immigrant. [Associated Press]
Pedro Ramirez, 22, was outed by the campus newspaper Tuesday after the staff received an anonymous tip. Ramirez had previously told campus officials last June that he was reluctant to reveal his status.
“I don’t want this issue to be about me,” Ramirez told The Associated Press Wednesday. “This is a big, big issue that should have been addressed a long time ago. My goal is to bring awareness to that.”
Ramirez, who has a dual major in political science and agricultural economics, came to the U.S. with his family from a small community in Jalisco, Mexico, when he was 3. He went on to become valedictorian of his high school class in nearby Tulare County.
He said didn’t know he lacked proper immigration papers until high school, when he told his parents he planned to join the military before applying to college and they told him he wasn’t a citizen.
Ramirez benefits from a law, upheld last week by the California State Supreme Court, that allows all California residents, regardless of immigration status, to qualify for in-state tuition rates.