Harvardstudentwillnotbedeported Eric Balderas grew up in Texas and earned a full scholarship to Harvard
¡Hola! Arkansas Staff Writers
BOSTON, MA -- An undocumented Harvard University student is no longer facing deportation to Mexico after being detained by immigration authorities at a Texas airport, officials said.
Eric Balderas, a 19 year-old aspiring molecular and cellular biology concentrator, was stopped by TSA officials in his hometown on June 7 when he tried to board a plane from San Antonio to Boston using a Mexican consulate card and his Harvard student identification.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said late Friday that they would not pursue the deportation of Eric Balderas.
He was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, who kept him in a detention center for several hours before he was released.
ICE spokesman Brian P. Hale said that Balderas had been granted deferred action, which can be used to halt deportation based on the merits of a case.
After the arrest revealed his status as an undocumented student, Balderas said he contemplated suicide and almost wrote a letter of apology to his mother, whom he was visiting in San Antonio.
His family had illegally immigrated to the United States when he was 4-years-old. He said he doesn't remember living in Mexico.
Balderas grew up in Texas and earned a full scholarship to Harvard. He hopes to become a cancer researcher. He said he qualified for Harvard's privately-funded scholarship package.
Harvard officials immediately threw support behind Balderas after his detainment.
"Eric Balderas has already demonstrated the discipline and work ethic required for rigorous university work, and has, like so many of our undergraduates, expressed an interest in making a difference in the world," said Christine Heenan, Harvard's vice president of public affairs and communications.
Deborah E. Anker, one of Balderas' attorneys on the case and
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