Continuing a Fight for Citizenship

1 decade 4 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, June 07 2007 Jun 7, 2007 Thursday, June 07, 2007 4:48:02 PM CDT June 07, 2007 in News

She is now a sophomore studying international business and political science at Westminster College in Fulton.

"Last year was a lot harder trying to adjust and be that normal student," Gonzalez said.

Nothing has been normal since her father recieved some bad legal advice on visas and immigration. Marvin and Marina Gonzalez were deported back to Costa Rica. Marie was given a choice.

"When the decision came from DHS (Department of Human Services) that I would be going or staying they didn't even think twice about it, they said 'This is what you want, continue fighting for your goals,'" said Gonzalez.

Marie's goal: a college degree. And now she's the National Spokesperson for the Dream Act.

"There are great families out there and they do deserve a second chance, that's what I fight for."

It's a potential opportunity for thousands of high school graduates without legal standing to become citizens if they complete college. And Marie not only wants to complete college, she wants to be a lawyer. But, she could side step all of this, by getting married.

"That's been brought up several times since I was 16. I'll marry for love, but not anything else. A wedding is so far off because my parents could go to it...it would be such a big step," explained Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is still fighting deportation, she's here on a Department of Homeland Security deferred reaction. Her deadline is June 22 and she's hoping that Missouri's new U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill will be more sympathetic than Jim Talent. Gonzalez is taking 19 hours this semester, she works in the school's alumni office and her passion is pushing for legislation to allow students like herself to stay in this country.

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