At this point, the story of Pedro Ramirez — the student body president at Fresno State who admitted this week that he’s an undocumented immigrant– has probably been debated each which way.
As you might expect, the response has been polarizing. Some think he should be allowed to be student body president. Some don’t. For one, school president John Welty commended Ramirez in a statement released Wednesday. This much is for sure: No internet troll is going to decide Ramirez’s fate as student body president.
But what people have done a good job of — from their Facebook pages all the way to the national media site — is demonizing this kid. The venom being spewed about this is almost laughable, if not for the fact that some people believe it. I’ve seen people call Ramirez disgusting, a disgrace and an embarrassment. To that, I only have to ask: REALLY?
Perhaps he should have been more forthcoming about his immigration status with voters. Perhaps he shouldn’t have run in the first place. Perhaps he should have become a legal citizen before pursuing any political ambitions.
But to act as if he’s some type of degenerate is a sad commentary on how divided and hate-fueled our country has become.
Immigration is a very heated issue — proven also by The Bee’s ambitious “In Denial” series that’s running this week. However you feel about our country’s immigration laws and the enforcement of them, you have to admit that Ramirez is doing a whole lot better than many of the stereotypes people often associate with immigrants. He’s a college student. He had enough leadership skills to get elected student body president. He’s taking this controversy head on.
And when we compare this to the numerous headline-making transgressions that have happened at Fresno State over the years, does this even register that high? We’re talking about a school that saw one of its basketball players murder someone.
When student-athletes make mistakes — threatening people with Samurai swords, not writing their own term papers — there are people lining up to make apologies for them. Yet Pedro Ramirez and his overflowing ambition is some huge embarrassment?
I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that.