Alan Aleman, born in Mexico City, is one of the guests at President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address.
It’s a longstanding tradition for individuals who are considered to be extraordinary Americans, specifically those who exemplify the themes and ideals that are talked about in the State of the Union, to attend the event as one of the first lady’s guests.
The White House website posted that Aleman is determined to get a good education. He reportedly was one of the first people to sign up when he heard that the Obama administration would be providing "deferred action" on deportation for undocumented youth. This would help youths like Aleman be able to emerge from the shadows and feel accepted as U.S. citizens.
Once his application was accepted and approved, Aleman was quoted as saying:
“I felt the fear vanish. I felt accepted.”
Now, because of deferred action, Aleman is attending his second year the College of Southern Nevada. He hopes to become a doctor and join the Air Force, the White House wrote.
Aleman has been referred to as the face of Obama’s immigration reform effort, which is why he received a State of the Union invite.
The 20-year-old was quoted by Yahoo News as saying, “They asked me if I wanted to go. I was like, 'Yeah!’ "It’s a huge opportunity," when he received the invite to the SOTU.
The college student is just one of three young people who were invited to the SOTU after being brought to the country illegally by their parents.
According to Yahoo, the others, Julieta Garibay and Gabino Sanchez, were also invited to the event after being invited by Democratic lawmakers.
"All he wants is the opportunity to do his part to build a better America," Obama reportedly said of Aleman.