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Friday a big day for one illegal immigrant student at UCLA

June 15, 2012 | 11:14 am

Students block street

Leslye Osegueda is having quite a day.

The 21-year-old UCLA student is set to graduate Friday evening with a degree in political science.

She is also an illegal immigrant who said she had started hearing rumors about a big announcement. So she checked the Internet around 6:30 a.m. Friday before heading to a rally for the start of a long day.

What she read left her in a state of disbelief.

LIVE COVERAGE: Rallies, reaction to Obama immigration announcement

Friday morning the Obama administration announced that it would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and who do not pose a security threat.

“This is real,” Osegueda said to herself. “This is finally happening.”

Osegueda said she has been in the U.S. illegally since she was 5. Prior to Friday's announcement, graduation brought further uncertainty as Osegueda said she had no idea what to do after turning her tassel.

But Friday morning, the young woman with green eyes and curly brown hair was suddenly speaking confidently about law school. The Westwood resident says she knows the decision was a political move by Obama to help pull in Latino votes, but she can’t help but think that work by Dream Act supporters helped force the issue.

The Dream Act is a bill that would create a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who are college students and military service members.

“I am scared of the backlash from anti-immigrant groups,” Osegueda said. “But we’re ready to face them. We’re ready to tell them we’re here to do good, to start new businesses, to support the economy. This is our home and that’s why we’re fighting.”


Dream Act advocate: 'This means I can be normal' 

Young illegal immigrants in L.A. cheer Obama on Dream Act

Thwarted by Congress, Obama to stop deporting young illegal immigrants 

-- Esmeralda Bermudez and Matt Stevens

Photo: Students block a downtown street during a Dream Act rally. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images.