Valedictorian Facing Deportation To Announce New Bill

Daniela Pelaez got a reprieve from deportation earlier this month.

By Karen Franklin
|  Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012  |  Updated 10:01 AM EDT
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Dream Act Supporters Protest Deportations

NBCMiami.com

Daniela Pelaez

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Teen Who Got Reprieve From Deportation Returns From Washington

A North Miami Senior High School valedictorian, who was facing immediate deportation but got a two-year reprieve, is now helping draft legislation that could let her stay in the U.S. Daniela Pelaez flew back to Miami on Friday with Representative David Rivera, her attorney and her sister, Dayana Pelaez, who is fighting for her own legal status as well.

Dream Act Supporters Protest Deportations

Supporters of a proposed law that provide a path to citizenship for students and military members are rallying in response to record numbers of deportations -- and a South Florida man who was too young to know he was being brought into the U.S. illegally.
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The North Miami Senior High School valedictorian who got a reprieve from deportation will hold a conference with her lawyer Wednesday on the same day she was once scheduled to be deported.

Daniela Pelaez and lawyer Nera Shefer will announce a new foundation for students like Palaez, a new bill called the Stars Act, and will discuss the pair's strategy for staying in the U.S., according to a statement.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehitnen, who has vehemently supported Pelaez and her sister Dayana, wrote a letter to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to reconsider the girls' permanent residency, which was denied on Feb. 27.

“It would save Daniela and Dayana from the court system process, the expense of the appeals process and the years that the process may take," said Ros-Lehitnen.

The congresswoman also talked about Daniela Pelaez accomplishments and the attention that the case has received.

“They have received support from the community, demonstrating how this family has touched the hearts of everyone around them.”

Pelaez’s request for a green card was denied by a judge, sparking a national debate on the Dream Act. Her application for residency was denied in 2010.

Pelaez left Colombia with her parents in 1998. Her family overstayed a tourist visa when she was 4 years old. She told NBC 6 that she has no memory of Colombia and loves her friends and this country.

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