Illegal immigrant running for student body president, Eva Longoria endorses

Campus Reform Reporter

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  • Emilio Vicente entered the United States at the age of six, remains undocumented.
  • Campaign platform says he will advocate for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.
  • Photo via Huffington Post. "Emilio Vicente, Undocumented Student At 2013 National Council La Raza, Fights For His Education In US"

    An illegal immigrant is campaigning for student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Emilio Vicente, a Guatemalan who entered the country at the age of six, is running for student body president on a platform that says he will “continue to support advocacy for undocumented students to have in-state tuition.”

    The unprecedented nature of his campaign has attracted support from actress Eva Longoria, who urged UNC students to vote for Vicente late last month.

     

    Ben Smith, Editor of the conservative Carolina Review, told Campus Reform that “the majority of campus has no problem with his [immigration] status.”

    Vicente believes that his candidacy can “change the conversation” surrounding immigration.

    “It was harder to come out as gay as opposed to undocumented, everyone in my family is undocumented expect for my little sister,” Vicente told Fusion, and he says that "[a] lot of students are undocumented.” 

    “A lot of us are not criminals. A lot of us are involved in our communities,” Vicente said, insisting “the only thing we’re lacking is a piece of paper that says we are a part of this country.”

    Update: According to The Daily Tar Heel, 5,475 students voted in the election, which took place yesterday. Emilio Vicente received 41.08 percent of the vote; a plurality, but not enough to avoid a runoff election.

    The runoff will be held Tuesday, Feb. 18.

    Via Gawker.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter @SteveLarson

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