BOULDER, Colo. -- High school graduation day is a monumental day for any family, but for the Hernandez family, it’s one that carries extra meaning.
Arturo Hernandez is witnessing a dream come true in his daughter Mariana’s graduation.
Hernandez sought sanctuary in the basement of a Denver-area church as he was told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was targeting him.
After being told he was no longer on their high priority list, Hernandez said he returned home to his family and to work.
That’s where he said he was found by ICE and detained.
Hernandez has been granted a two-year deportation stay, which has allowed him to witness some big family achievements first hand.
“Especially the first day when I was in detention, I was thinking only what happens now,” Hernandez said. “I’m really proud for my daughter, she’s a really good daughter, so I’m proud for her.”
“I really didn’t want graduation day to come if he wasn’t going to be there with me and I just thought about how many other things he was going to miss and not be with me,” Mariana Hernandez said. “I’m super excited to move on to new things and have my dad with me.”
Mariana Hernandez said her dreams don’t end with graduation. She plans on attending a community college for two years before transferring to a university to earn her bachelor’s degree on her way to becoming a nurse.