Virginia Tech rising sophomore Juan Aljure waits for his bags after arriving in Christiansburg. A week ago, the Colombia native was waiting in line in Miami to file papers to get temporary legal status and avoid deportation.
"Since the day I realized that I was a little bit different than everybody else at school, I've just wanted to be able to have a normal life here," Aljure said.
He was one of many across the country to sign up for the president's new "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" plan. It means he could gain temporary permission for two years to work legally in the U.S. To qualify, applicants must be under 31 and have arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday.
Aljure arrived in the country at age five and overstayed a visa.
"It just means that I'll be like everybody else," he said. "I'll be able to finish my education and eventually have a career."
But while the 19-year-old is on the path to U.S. citizenship now, we asked university officials if Virginia Tech has an obligation to notify the federal government there was an illegal immigrant on campus last year.
The simple answer is, they do not ask, because they do not have to. There is no federal or state requirement.
"We've got 21,000 applicants at this university, and of course tens of thousands at other universities around the state," said Larry Hincker, Associate Vice President of University Relations. "So how would you do that? I mean that would be a really large and onerous task."
As for Aljure's future, the sky is the limit.
"I grew up with my aunt and she was like a big sister to me. She always dreamed of working at NASA and being an astronaut, and as soon as she graduated she started working there. And it's kind of an inspiration to me. "
He hopes congress will eventually pass a law to give him another stepping stone towards fulfilling his dream on becoming a citizen.