MOUNT VERNON, Wash. - A high school honor student, originally from Mexico, could be deported because he is in the U.S. illegally.
Sixteen-year-old Juan Andres Macedo de Alba now faces an uncertain future. He is a junior in high school, volunteers, and is taking college courses. He arrived in the U.S. when he was nine-years-old.
“Working in me was the best investment I can do for my future,” said Macedo de Alba.
Earlier this year, he was pulled over and immigration officials discovered he is in the country illegally.
“Despite being brought here as a child and having lived here for many years as an incredible member of his community and a bright student, he is facing removal from the United States,” said Leta Sanchez, Macedo de Alba’s attorney.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program delays deportation for qualified people who were brought to U.S. as kids. However, Sanchez said Macedo de Alba does not qualify because he arrived several weeks after the 2007 cutoff.
U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene(D-WA), U.S. Senator Patty Murray(D-WA), and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell(D-WA) signed a letter supporting Macedo de Alba.
“He’s exactly the type of student we should be supporting, not deporting,” said Rep. DelBene.
Rep. DelBene believes cases like this should encourage Congress to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform.
U.S. Border Patrol could not comment on the immigration case because it is still active.
Ultimately, Sanchez said Macedo de Alba’s future will be decided by an immigration judge next month.