SOUTH ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A high school graduate who thought he would be forced out of the country hours after his commencement has learned he has more time.

Milton Rodriguez graduated Thursday night with the rest of the class of 2011 of South St. Paul High School. For months, he had been told he would be deported the next day.

Milton came to Minnesota six years ago after an earthquake in El Salvador. Most of his family had already settled in South St. Paul, but he was never considered a legal citizen.

Principal Butch Moening said he has been a model student in his years at the high school.

“That one in education we all love to have because he does all the right things,” Moening said.

Teacher and students wrote letters to ICE officials for weeks asking them to change their minds and let Milton stay.

Then, just 20 minutes before Thursday nights’ commencement Milton got the call he was waiting for.

“Now, I don’t know what to think. I’m so happy,” he said.

ICE hasn’t told him what the reason is behind its decision or how long it may last, but in a statement to WCCO-TV a spokesperson said “ICE is reviewing the facts to see whether his removal is necessary and no action will ne taken until a review is finished.”

Milton hopes to go to college in Minnesota and someday be a firefighter or police officer.

Comments (23)
  1. tuna-free dolphin says:

    He was “never considered a legal citizen”? What does that mean. He either wis or isn’t. What a silly sentence. Earthquake? Please. Everyone has a story. We’re a country of rules and he’s breaking them. If he lreally wants to learn something, how about learning how to obey the law?

    1. Shannon says:

      He is a teenager and was a child when his family came to the US. He didn’t have a choice when it came to obeying the immagration laws. What? Was he supposed to go back to his home country on his own as a child? or refuse to join his family in the US. I don’t like Illegal immagration and it is definitely not good for this country but should we punish the child for what his parents did?

      He sounds like a good young man and he should be given the chance to follow the laws and apply for citizenship.

      1. Huxley says:

        He’s already broken the law. If you don’t like the law change it. Otherwise its adios.

  2. Victim Du Jour says:

    I think it’s a good thing this young man finished highschool and gets to stay.

    But earlier, Holly Wagner reported a Story from a School District that has Sushi on the Lunch Menu, and how much money schools get per Student.

    So Edina is not getting enough Sushi and Latte Money, so South Saint Paul can help people from other countries eh’?

  3. Victim Du Jour says:

    Perhaps we should let people from other countries go to our schools for free – no cost to the state.

    Public Schools should only be charging for legal citizens, and “Guest Students” are strictly pro-Bono.

  4. emmee says:

    Wow I can’t believe you people call yoursaelf humans!!! Don’t you have a heart? We as american citizens break the law every day and don’t tell me you don’t but yet we are so fast to criticize others espeically of hispanic decent. I am bilingual and work in translation and each day come home learning a new story about love, a family or a child who has a background of immigration whether legal or illegal. This young man, has leaned our English language, worked hard shown by his friends and also the school representatives. I believe this student has shown great qualities and should stay here in the US! Don’t be so rude and like I said earlier, have a heart and remember this student is human as well just as you and me. God bless this young man and I pray he can continue his dreams of education and a career here in the US!

    1. Huxley says:

      IF you feel the laws should be changed, talk to your congressperson. Until then- he’s here illegally. Crazy as it sounds, if he lived in California he would get in-state college tuition rates. That’s a huge benefit that not even Minnesotans would receive. Upside down and completely backwards. The law should be applied equally. Therefore even though you believe he is a nice guy, that doesn’t exempt him from the laws others are expected to follow. I’m a nice guy. May I get an exemption from the DEA to produce and consume Meth?

    2. Close The Border says:

      YOUR A MORON!!!!! HE IS ILLEGAL!!!!!!!!!!! I am a human who follows the LAW!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. James2 says:

    Let’s see, what other country can I do this in, illegally? and get rewarded. hmmm… give me a minute, I’m still thinking.

  6. Confused says:

    I often wonder how the story would have read forty years ago. Does thinking like this make me a racist?

    1. Huxley says:

      I don’t know about 40 years, but thirty years ago there is a good chance he would have been given amnesty and allowed to stay. Ronald Reagan signed the amnesty bill allowing illegals to stay- on the premise that going forward the laws would be enforced. It appears they aren’t following through on the enforcement part of the agreement.

  7. emmee says:

    Wowwww you guys need to settle down and not be so racist. This was no ones land befoere you and I so think about that before you open your big mouth and be so damn racist!!! Shows you guys don’t have a heart!! He is a human and has a heart and has worked very hard at graduating. And we have our citizens who don’t ever graduate because they are dropping out, dealing drugs, on welfare, getting 16 year old girls pregnant and causing a lot more problems than this student.

    1. Huxley says:

      You present a very poor argument. Following the laws does not make one a racist. You’re being dishonest.

    2. Kevin says:

      MORON!!!! HE IS AN ILLEGAL!!!!!!

  8. NicSTP says:

    Thank you so much for your attention to this story. Please keep us updated. This boy is a great kid- he’s even on the honor roll. He and his family are not trying to get away with anything or be here illegally. From the very beginning they have gone through the process. There is no good reason this boy should be sent back to the dangerous climate in El Salvador.

    1. Jeff says:

      He’s been ordered deported. He should obey the law and leave. Plus this free-loading foreigner is taking up tax payer money that could be used for American children to go to school. When your child is stuck in a overcrowded classroom this fall or the state of Minnesota has to raise taxes you can thank the tens of thousands of illegal alien parasites in this state who use up valuable tax payer benefits (education, medical etc) while working at low paying jobs or freeloading off of welfare!

      1. george says:

        Free-loading foreigner. he is the hardest working kid in our senior class don’t worry about wasting tax money on him worry about wasting tax money on the low life good for nothing pot heads and kids getting drunk every weekend and not learning anything know your stuff before you start trying to preach on you idiot.

  9. Kevin says:

    Oh I am so glad my tax dollars were able to put this fine young illegal through school. HOW THE HE** can illegals be allowed into our public school system? GOOD GOD!!!!! Put him and ALL illegal immigratns out of this State and Nation! I have several friends who have waited years to get here……their backs are dry…and they are white… the wait is long!!!!!! STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION! You want them….you pay for them….I opt out!!!!!!!

  10. St Paul Tax Payer says:

    So lets just bring every child from every state who has issues! Why not! Lets just fill the school sysytem with all illegals! The state has no budget issues! Gov Google Eyes just keeps increasing the funding for Education…a failed system…that is ranked #36 in the nation…..great return! I am sick of my tax dollars being pis**** away on illegals and immigrants from every garbage hole in the world! ENOUGH!!!! When did I or anyone get to vote on bringing these people here?????

    1. pretzeldude says:

      Right On!!!

  11. Amy says:

    I’m a student at ssp as well and have had the pleasure of meeting Milton. He is one of the sweetest and most hardworking individuals I have met. He was a WEB (where everyone belongs) leader at our school. WEB is a program where upper classmen help the incoming 7th grade students and show them where their classes are and make them feel comfortable. Milton just wants a chance at a good life. Last night at graduation, every member if the 2011 class stood and clapped as miltons name was called for his diploma. That right there tells you that he’s an awesome young man who deserves a chance.

  12. SSP junior says:

    i’m a junior at south st. paul high school, and i have had the privilage of meeting Milton. He is one of the most polite kids i have ever met, and he is a very hard worker. You should be upset about the caucasian pot heads who don’t do anything at school. Milton has taken time to learn our language and he works harder that most of the senior class. He was a WEB leader at our school, as well. WEB stands for ‘where everyone belongs.’ It’s a program where upper classman voulenteer to help the incoming seventh graders. WEB leaders show the kids around the school and let them know that they have someone to come to with any questions or for any help needed. Milton cares greatly about others. He is a student who wants a good life for himself. Also, EVERY member of the 2011 graduating class stood up and clapped as Milton’s name was called at commencement to receive his diploma. Who are you people to critisize before you know how wonderful Milton is. Get a life. I bet many of you people are middle aged, and yet you have no class or respect. You should be upset about illegal aliens who don’t bother to learn english or who don’t do anything in school. But Milton is the total opposite, and probably works harder than your kids.

  13. pretzeldude says:

    He’s not considered legal then pack his rear end OUT OF THE USA. The USA is for legal citizens.
    He already got and education free of charge, enough freeloading.
    GET OUT!!!

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