Harvard College junior and undocumented immigrant Dario Guerrero-Meneses, who had been barred from returning to the U.S. after taking his mother to Mexico last July for cancer treatments, has been granted a humanitarian visa to return to the States on Tuesday evening.
The decision, handed down by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, will allow Guerrero to return to the U.S. to see his immediate family in California and soon-to-be-born child, as well as start his senior year at Harvard, according to his lawyer, Alan R. Klein.
Guerrero was born in Mexico but moved to the U.S. when he was two and a half years old. He returned with his mother in July to seek alternative treatments for her cancer. She died in August, and Guerrero has been living with his grandparents in Mexico City ever since.
“Can you just imagine: his mother just died, he’s estranged from his family in Mexico, he’s there by himself, he’s harrassed by certain groups in Mexico because he’s American,’’ Klein told Boston.com. “He can’t start his schooling back at Harvard, he doesn’t know how his education is going, and all through it he’s kept his composure.’’
Guerrero, who wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post last month
about his college application experience, was unaware of his illegal immigrant status until he attempted to register for engineering classes through his local community college and found that his Social Security number was invalid. Harvard, Guerrero wrote, offered him a full scholarship despite his immigration status.
Though he was protected from deportation by a 2012 executive order — the “Dream Act’’ — Guerrero’s decision to bring his sick mother to Mexico for treatment once again got him into trouble with the law.
“The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service did a great thing just a few minutes ago and they granted and approved Dario’s humanitarian parole visa request so he can return to America,’’ Klein told ABC News. “He should be back in America in a few days.’’
Harvard spokesperson Colin Manning confirmed that Guerrero is still a student at Harvard College, though he declined to comment further, citing federal privacy laws.
“While I cannot comment on any specific student, generally speaking, Harvard works to ensure it is doing what it can to support its students both on and off campus since it is our goal that all students complete their undergraduate education,’’ Manning said.