A Harvard student who broke immigration rules to take his dying mother to Mexico will be allowed back into the US on a humanitarian visa. The decision comes just hours after the AP published a story about the plight of Dario Guerrero Meneses. In an immigration system where even the smallest mistake can bring dire consequences, Guerrero knowingly broke a rule by leaving the US without federal authorization. He did so in a desperate bid to save his mother, who had cancer. The quest for an alternative treatment didn't pan out, and she died six weeks later with her son by her side. But Guerrero then found that he could no longer return to the US.
The 21-year-old had lived in the United States illegally since he was 2: His parents brought him from Mexico City to California, and they overstayed tourist visas. Eventually, along with hundreds of thousands of other young immigrants, he was granted a temporary reprieve from the threat of deportation under a 2012 Obama administration order. The catch: If these immigrants ever leave the US without government approval, they lose their protected status. Guerrero submitted two unsuccessful requests for fast-tracked permission to leave while his mother's health declined, then decided to take the risk by bringing her to Mexico for treatment. "He panicked," says his lawyer. "His dad and mom wanted him to go, and he did the best thing he thought he could do for his family." (Read more immigration stories.)