Some 2,600 students and teachers from a Miami high school took to the streets Friday to protest a deportation order against an 18-year old Colombian schoolmate whose parents illegally migrated to the U.S. when she was four.
The march in support of valedictorian Daniela Pelaez was the biggest immigration protest in south Florida since 2004, the Miami Herald reported.
According to Associated Press, Pelaez considers herself American and has applied to several Ivy League universities and wants to become a heart surgeon.
“I just want to pursue the American dream like any other child,” Pelaez said.
The massive march in support of the Colombian student was instigated by her classmates who used their networks on social media websites like Facebook to demand attention for the case of Pelaez.
The march drew the attention of various U.S. media and was supported by local Republican politicians like Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
The Herald reported that Pelaez’ deportation is not imminent as lawyers immediately appealed the order, beginning a process that could take years.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the country has some 11.2 million illegal residents. The majority, 57% are from Mexico. 24% are from other Latin American countries.