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Face of immigration reform to attend president's address

Reported by: Christine Kim
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Updated: 2/12/2013 6:29 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- While millions of Americans will watch the president's State of the Union Address at home, one young man from Nevada will listen to the speech from the first lady's box in the same room as President Obama.

White House officials invited Alan Aleman, who has become the poster child for immigration reform in the Silver State, to the address after gaining the president's attention.

Alan arrived in the nation's capital Monday. He's never been to D.C. before and says this invitation comes with a big responsibility to represent southern Nevada.

Alan’s sister, Yadira, 18, and her parents were beaming while talking about her older brother.

“You feel that excitement, you feel proud of him because of all the things he's been doing amazing,” Yadira said. “My brother is doing the great things for the community.”

They found out last week, the first lady invited the 20-year-old to the president's address, which is expected to cover the topic of immigration reform.

“It's a huge opportunity for me,” Alan said from Washington. “I never thought in my entire life that I was going to be invited to State of the Union.”

Alan was brought to this country illegally from Mexico when he was 11 years old. Undocumented youths such as Alan qualify for deferred action. He was one of the first in Nevada to sign up and be approved.

It's something the president didn't overlook when he visited Del Sol High School in January for his announcement on immigration policies.

He singled out the College of Southern Nevada student who, along with 11 million undocumented immigrants, knows what it's like to live in fear of deportation.

“When I got my work permit, I feel no more fear,” he said. “I feel relieved. I wanted them to feel the same, you know, the same thing that I felt.”

Alan has now become a voice for others. He's been volunteering his time to help other undocumented children apply. Those in the Hispanic community say Alan has already made a difference.

Alan is on the board of the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce. He volunteers for the Red Cross and is studying to become a surgeon.

His family says he'll return on Wednesday from his trip to Washington.
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