When she was four years old, Daniela Pelaez emigrated with her parents from Colombia to the United States. They had visas. But when the visas expired, her parents decided to stay in the country and raise their children here illegally.
Fast forward a dozen years, and Daniela is now the valedictorian of her graduating class. Her GPA is 6.7. She plans to attend Dartmouth in the fall. But she’s still here illegally, and in February, a judge issued an order for Daniela to leave the country.
After petitions and public outcry, the Obama administration decided to defer action on the case for two years. But in the meantime, Daniela, with the help of her attorney Nera Shefer and congressman David Rivera (R-Fla.), is advocating for a bill to keep young, undocumented students in the country. The bill is called the Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status Act, or STARS.