Valedictorian Faces Possible Deportation

March 3, 2012 by staff 

Valedictorian Faces Possible Deportation, An immigration judge has ruled two teenage girls, including a Miami high school valedictorian, are to be deported for being in the country illegally.

Daniela Pelaez, 18, and her sister Dayana came to the United States with their parents from Colombia 14 years ago and never left — overstaying their tourist visas.

A Miami immigration judge ruled this week that the two girls must be deported to Colombia, leaving the teenagers in shock.

“Education not deportation!” chanted fellow students Friday during a protest outside the North Miami Senior High School, where Pelaez is valedictorian.

The high school senior has a 6.7 grade point average and is at top of her class out of 823 students, said a school administrator.

“She’s a good citizen, besides being a brilliant girl,” said North Miami Senior High School administrator Larry Jurrist, who added he can’t understand why the judge decided to deport the girls.

Pelaez told CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux Friday that her family has been battling to stay in the United States legally.

“Colombia is my roots, but this is all I know,” said Pelaez, who has applied to continue her studies at several top-tier schools, including Dartmouth College, Duke University and Trinity College.

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