Nanny State: Immigrant high school student endures detainment

03 July 2009

Immigrant high school student endures detainment


TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — He was born on the Fourth of July, an irony he would learn to appreciate later, during the dark period of his life, when liberty and freedom came to mean something far more real than words in his high school history book.

Daniel Guadron has been fighting the odds all his young life, mostly as a happy warrior, winning admirers and supporters at every turn.

It's not just that he excelled in school: The straight-A student mastered English within months of emigrating from Guatemala at 13, then mastered French. He's aced every math test he has ever taken.

Or that he is blessed with a sunny nature, sparkling mind and ever-flashing smile.

Or that he shines on the soccer field and on the wrestling mat.

The handsome, crewcut young man has always possessed something more, a wisdom that radiates from his deep brown eyes, a thirst for knowledge and for self-improvement, a clarity of vision about the nature of the world, good and bad, and what he can achieve in it.

Everyone could see it — his teachers at Trenton Central High, his coaches, the running buddies who trained with him for his first 10K race, co-workers in the restaurant where he works at weekends, even a lawyer he befriended in the corporate building he cleans at nights. "Mr. Professor," the lawyer dubbed the cheerful teen who swept floors even as he dreamed of becoming an engineer.

Daniel's guidance counselor called him "everyone's shining star."

And then, one chilly day in April 2008, the 18-year-old star disappeared.

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