SAN DIEGO – An undocumented Harvard student, who was stuck in Mexico after leaving the U.S. to get his dying mother help, crossed the border into San Ysidro Tuesday.
Dario Guerrero Meneses, 21, is a Harvard film student who had been in Mexico since July when he took his mother there to get alternative cancer treatment.
When he tried to come back to the U.S. after his mother died in August, he was denied.
Guerrero came to the U.S. illegally with his family when he was 2 years old. In 2012, like thousands of other young illegal immigrants under a deportation threat, Guerrero was granted a temporary reprieve under President Obama’s Dream Act.
Before he left the U.S., Guerrero applied for permission to enter Mexico and come back without consequence, but the answer didn’t come fast enough for him and his dying mother. When his mother became increasingly ill, he became desperate. He said he made the conscious decision to sacrifice his protected status, hoping to keep her alive.
“I understood the consequences,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero was recently granted humanitarian parole, but a technical issue at the U.S. consulate in Tijuana, Mexico denied him access to cross the border until Tuesday, his attorney said.
“Thankfully, everything was able to be worked out within a few months—it could’ve taken a lot longer,” he said. “I don’t regret it because I wouldn’t have wanted her to be alone in Mexico. I’m thankful that everything was able to work out in the end.”
He said he was documenting his journey for the past year and hopes to someday tell his story on the big screen.
The young man is headed to Long Beach to reunite with his family and will eventually return to Harvard.
Immigration activists claim he is an example of the nation’s broken immigration system.
“In a system that forces people to make risky decisions, the young man is one of our best. He should’ve never been through this,” said immigration activist and attorney, Andrea Guerrero.