Eric Balderas just wanted visit his parents, but the Harvard sophomore got more than he bargained for when he attempted to board a return flght to Boston. Traveling from his hometown of San Antonio, TX with only his student identification card and papers from the Mexican consulate, Balderas—who has lived in the US since he was four—was detained by ICE agents. "I'd made it through before so I thought this time wouldn't be any different," Balderas told The Associated Press. "But once ICE picked me up I really didn't know what to think and I was starting to break down."
Balderas now faces the very real possibility of deportation, even as Harvard stands behind him and pushes for Congress to pass the DREAM act. Christine Heenan, Harvard's vice president of public affairs and communications, told ABC News, "Eric Balderas has already demonstrated the discipline and work ethic required for rigorous university work...These dedicated young people are vital to our nation's future, and President Faust's support of the DREAM Act reflects Harvard's commitment to access and opportunity for students like Eric."
Balderas, who was held overnight and ordered to return for an immigration hearing on July 6th, hadn't told his mother what happened. "I don't want her to worry about it," he told the Harvard Crimson.
"Just hang in there," Balderas advised when asked what, if anything, he had to say to other students in similar predicaments. "Let others know of your problem and try and gain support for the DREAM Act, because that's ultimately what's going to save us all."