"What I have worked for since I was 4 years old - to live the American dream. And I feel like I earned it," she said.
An immigration judge has ruled two teenage girls, including a Miami high school valedictorian, are to be deported for being in the country illegally.
Daniela Pelaez, 18, and her sister Dayana came to the United States with their parents from Colombia 14 years ago and never left - overstaying their tourist visas.
"Can you imagine that? Literally putting a postage stamp on her forehead and send her packing," Michael Wildes, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, said about the case.
"This is completely out of character for our country," he told CNN. "I know the courts and the prosecutor will do right by her."
Pelaez said her attorney will appeal the judge's ruling and the teenager hopes she will get the opportunity to stay in the United States so she can decide in April which college to attend.