Thursday, September 29, 2005

Guatemalan man, 27, poses as a high school student to learn English

Associated Press:

A 27-year-old Guatemalan man arrested for posing as an 18-year-old Pasco County high school student told authorities he enrolled because he wanted to learn English and get a good education.

Josue Oswaldo Ramirez-Mejia was arrested Tuesday and charged with uttering a forged instrument. He was being held on $5,000 bail.

Ramirez-Mejia used forged documents, including a Guatemalan birth certificate stating his birthday as Jan. 3, 1987, to enroll last month at J.W. Mitchell High School, officials said.

Someone also posed as his guardian, according to the sheriff's office.

"Everything seemed to be in place," said Jim Davis, an assistant superintendent with the school district.

Ramirez-Mejia was a good student and hadn't caused any problems, Davis said.

Officials learned Ramirez-Mejia's real age Tuesday after he lost his wallet during a physical education class.

Another student recovered the wallet, and a school resource officer looking through it found identification cards that revealed his true birthday was Jan. 3, 1978, Davis said.

Ramirez-Mejia told officials he wanted to learn English and get a good education, Davis said.

Maximo Ramirez-Mejia of Holiday said his brother planned to finish high school, learn English and work in the United States for a few years before returning to Guatemala.

He said his brother came to the United States three years ago, and would work after classes at their Lake Worth tiling business.

The FBI told sheriff's investigators that Ramirez-Mejia entered the United States illegally after being denied entry.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has begun deportment proceedings, Tampa-based spokeswoman Pam McCullough said.

Officials said Ramirez-Mejia would have been eligible for county adult education courses.

Illegal Immigrant, 27, Caught Posing As High Schooler


At 3:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ramirez-Mejia told officials he wanted to learn English and get a good education, Davis said."

Certainly it's possible to do both in Guatemala, albeit perhaps not so easily as here.

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy was probably interested in hooking up with some underage girls. After all, if the guy really wanted an education then he could have gone for his GED.


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