Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama invited Mexican-American solider Oscar Vazquez to be a special guest at the President’s final State of the Union. Oscar will be seated in the First Lady’s box. Click through to learn five important things about Oscar!
Oscar Vazquez has been named as one of the special guests sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama during President Barack Obama‘s final State of the Union address of his presidency, held January 12. Oscar has been called an inspiration for his incredible story: living in Phoenix, Arizona for nearly a decade as an illegal immigrant, then being granted his green card and joining the United States army. Click through to learn five things about this wonderful man!
He returned to Mexico to enter the US legally
Oscar’s family moved to the United States illegally when he was just 12. But after he graduated college in 2009, he decided he wanted to become a legal US citizen, and returned to Mexico to start the process. It was brutal; he was barred from re-entering the country for over a year, separating him from his wife and infant child back in Phoenix. In August 2010, he received his green card, and was finally granted citizenship.
He joined the US army after becoming a citizen
Oscar went into basic training in February, 2011 because he “wanted to fight for the country who raised me.” He did one tour in Afghanistan in 2012, fulfilling his lifelong dream of being a soldier — something he could not have done in the United States without being a citizen. Oscar is a paratrooper.
He’s an incredibly gifted academic figure
Oscar made himself known as an incredibly gifted young mind when he and three others from his high school won a national robotics competition. The academic team was so good that it beat out college teams — including MIT. He later received his engineering degree from Arizona State University.
His story was given as an argument for the DREAM act
Senator Dick Durbin presented Oscar’s inspirational story on the US House floor as an example of why the DREAM act is necessary. The bill asks that children who entered the US illegally as children be granted legal status. Someone like Oscar, who disrupted his entire life to become a legal citizen as an adult, even though he wasn’t responsible for his illegal status, was the prefect example of who the bill would benefit.
He’s now a business analyst
After ending his military career, Oscar now serves as a business analyst in a web app development team for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railways. Additionally, he volunteers to promote STEM opportunities for Latino and underprivileged youth.
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