Well, I give you, at the time, a 12 year old young man who truly shows what character and morals are all about. So without further delay, I give you Fernando Guadarrama.
SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (AP) — Fernando Guadarrama was 12 when he decided he couldn't stay in America illegally any longer.
Years earlier, his father, Gustavo, immigrated from Mexico and became an American citizen. His father filed paperwork to bring his wife, Margarita, and son into the country, but Fernando said because there was a mistake on his application, permission came through for his mother only.
So, Fernando, now 15, became one of at least 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Some estimates suggest as many as 20 million people lack proper documents.
Even as a child, the Spotsylvania County student recognized the stigma of his status.
"You feel like you're less than other people," Fernando said. "Like they're one step above you."
Fernando also was concerned about his future. The only way he could go to college and fulfill his dream of becoming a dentist was as a legal resident.
When other boys were worrying about sports or video games, Fernando convinced his parents to let him go back to Mexico. There, he would wait for his application to be processed so he could enter America legally.
At 12, Fernando moved in with his elderly grandparents, on a ranch outside Mexico City.
As the waiting turned to years, the boy became depressed and homesick.
Several times, people making the illegal trek into the United States asked him to come along.
Fernando missed his parents and younger brother and sister — both born in America — so much, he almost packed his bags.
"But I had to be strong," he said.
Fernando finally got an appointment at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Juarez.
This past September, almost three years after he left Spotsylvania, he sat through a week's worth of appointments. He was fingerprinted and interviewed and received seven immunizations in one arm.
He left on Sept. 25 with a "green card," as a legal permanent resident of the United States.
This young man is the epitome of what every person wishing to immigrate to the USA should be like. NOTE: It only took 3 years to obtain his Green Card, a far cry from the upto 20 years spouted. This young man has my admiration, welcome to the United States my young friend.