GU senior has a tough road ahead due to citizenship status

This weekend, The Washington Post followed up on its previous stories about Juan Gomez (MSB ’11), a senior who is about to graduate but risks deportation.

Gomez came to the United States from Colombia with his family in 1990 on tourist visas and during that time his father applied for asylum, claiming that paramilitary fighters had threatened his family. The petition, which took several years and allowed for the family to become acclimated with the country, was eventually rejected.

Despite the rejection of the petition, the family remained in the country until immigration officials raided the Gomez household in 2007.

Gomez’s parents were deported, but due to a strong lobbying campaign by classmates and teachers, Gomez, along with his brother, were allowed to stay in the country through private bills in Congress sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd.

As he wraps up his senior year, Gomez has already received a job offer from J.P. Morgan Chase’s Latin American division, the same place he interned this past summer.

Although he would not give specifics on his offer, Gomez told The Post that the salary would be more than his parents made in multiple years working in Miami or ever in Colombia.

Unfortunately, Gomez risks being unable to take the job because I-765 temporary work permit expires soon.

With Dodd no longer in Congress and Gomez leaving school, he has applied personally to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a renewal of his work permit, but there is no guarantee that this will happen.

Not everyone believes that Gomez should be allowed to have his permit renewed.

“He’s a very compelling case,” Roy Beck, an opponent of the DREAM Act told The Post, “but because he’s getting this job, there will be an American somewhere down the line who won’t get one.”

However, Gomez and the DREAM Act have received significant support at Georgetown, as University President John DeGioia has been a vocal advocate of the act.

The latest version of the DREAM Act was five votes short of passage in the Senate.

Image: The Washington Post

10 Comments on “GU senior has a tough road ahead due to citizenship status

  1. Just to be clear, the last vote on the DREAM Act in the Senate was 55-41. It failed because they couldn’t overcome a filibuster, as per usual Senate bullshit.

  2. Juan is exactly the type of immigrant who should be allowed to stay.

  3. @ Immigrants Built This Country,

    That may be, but we built this city on rock and roll.

  4. Sad that the Dream Act doesn’t have a chance of getting passed.

  5. Also a shame that there’s still the 10 yr ban on illegal immigrants returning. Perhaps better to seek sponsorship in another country with more welcoming laws for all the Dream Act cases…Canada has a welcoming immigration policy, I hear.

    The fact that university educated Americans-in-all-but-citizenship face this impossible bureaucratic obstacle makes me so terribly sad.

  6. Any Republicans care to step up and try to defend your stance on immigration? Stories like this one are good reminders that public policy affects real people, and can’t be about puffing up your chest, touting the alleged greatness of ‘Murica, and declaring that a better life is only deserved by people who happen to be born in certain places.

  7. Back when my father applied for a visa to immigrate to this country (which was 17 years ago, so things might’ve changed), the employers who sponsored him had to prove that there was no American who could fill his position as well as he could. If this man can meet the same standards, I don’t see the problem.

    And, personally, “Catholic Social Teaching,” I’m offended by 1) Your regional stereotyping (yes, mocking other people’s accents is rude!) and 2) Your assumption that people who support enforcing immigration laws is forwarding the idea “that a better life is only deserved by people who happen to be born in certain places.” That’s not the argument at all. The argument is simply that “if you want to live in a country, you are expected to live by its laws.” Immigration and the path to citizenship is a pain in the ass for all of us who do it legally, but we put up with the red tape (and send Uncle Sam five different copies of our fingerprints after the INS people mess up) because we respect the laws of this country. Do I feel sorry for the situation Juan’s parents put him in? Hell yes. But that doesn’t change the fact that illegal immigration demonstrates a fundamental disrespect for the rule of law.

  8. Pretty pointless if states pass this and the federal government does not.

  9. @Catholic Social Services

    My nanny jumped though all the hoops to immigrate legally from Columbia. Her brothers then went through the same process taking almost 8 years before they could move here. She’s working on a degree from a community college; her brothers are working odd jobs as they can. Had they simply violated the law and come earlier in their lives, their current lives might be substantially better. Gomez and his family violated the law and are rewarded with a Georgetown education and a JP Morgan job offer – and you think the injustice is that Gomez might be forced to comply with the law?

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