Pedro Gutierrez is a young man with dwindling options. Although recently granted a 30-day reprieve, Pedro still faces the ugly prospect of being deported from a country he loves and wishes desperately to serve as a Marine, to a country he has never known.
Pedro's story is rife with tragedy. A son of two alcohol and drug abusing parents, he was raised by a grandmother who chose to bring him to the United States as a young boy. At 16, his beloved grandmother died, leaving him orphaned. Thankfully, he found a home with friends and has since found a way to succeed where others in his situation might have given up. He finished school, earning a high school diploma. His big dream was to join the Marine Corps and serve his country honorably. He talked to a few recruiters, who made sure to tell him he is a perfect recruit. Except for the fact that Pedro is an undocumented immigrant.
The DREAM act was supposed to change all that. Had the legislation passed in Congress, Pedro would have had the opportunity to attain citizenship once he completed at least two years in the armed forces. But lawmakers in Washington have denied him that chance.
Pedro's situation is only becoming more grave. Pedro was stopped in 2009 for a traffic violation, an incident which sparked an inquiry by immigration officials and subsequent deportation proceedings. Now, all of his hard work in the face of such seemingly insurmountable odds might just go to waste. In a self-narrated video of his struggles so far, Pedro says he "wants to live the American Dream. I love this country. If I go back I can't imagine life anywhere else but here." He adds, "This is it. I have nowhere else to go."
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