Honor Student Beats Deportation


INS District Director, Miguel Perez and His Attorney

Miguel Perez, a Salvadoran refugee who entered the U.S. illegally and was arrested by the Border Patrol within minutes of crossing the border, beat the odds and was granted lawful permanent residence. Above, Perez addresses a press conference flanked by INS District Director Robert Moschorek and Perez’s attorney Carl Shusterman.

Perez was smuggled into the U.S. as a 14-year-old by his mother. Apprehended by the INS, his mother died of a heart attack a few weeks later, leaving Miguel alone in the U.S. “I told her that I would succeed, that I would become somebody.”

After Perez was ordered deported by an Immigration Judge, Congressman Mervyn Dymally (D-CA) asked Shusterman, a former INS Trial Attorney, to intervene. Appealing the deportation order to the federal courts, Shusterman eventually persuaded the INS to drop its opposition and allow Perez to remain in the US. The title “Honor Student Beats Deportation” appeared in newspapers across the US.


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“Mr. Shusterman helped me all the way since I arrived in the USA 17 years ago on a visiting scholar visa until this month when I have become a US citizen.”

- Jose Mediano
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Although he arrived in the US without speaking a word of English, Perez graduated six years later from California State University, Dominguez Hills at the top of his class. Today, he is a Professor of Health Sciences at one of the California State Universities.

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