SAN LUIS OBISPO, California (Border Report) — Nabeel Younis has realized a lifelong dream of attending college in the United States.
In spite of not knowing whether he will be granted asylum, the young migrant from Pakistan is now enrolled at Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo, California.
“Since I’ve been waiting for my asylum application to be decided by the judge, I thought instead of wasting my time I could use it to go to college and study,” Younis told Border Report between classes.
Younis is studying full-time, taking 18 credit hours with classes such as American History, Western Civilization, English, Health Education and Spanish.
“Now that I have in-state tuition it allowed me to take 18 credits, it’s very challenging but at the same time it’s very exciting,” he said.
The courses are part of his general education requirement for an associate degree in California.
His goal is to be accepted into a four-year university upon graduating from Cuesta College.
“I look forward to getting my degree from UC Berkeley or UCLA,” he said.
Younis wants to be involved in the medical field so he can help the less fortunate.
“When I first came here, I was told by my sponsor that in order to return the favors I was going to receive from this country, the one thing I can do is to serve this country,” said Younis. “After getting my degree, that will be my priority to serve this country by helping people.”
While it’s still early in the semester, Younis told Border Report he is maintaining an “A-average.”
“I’m getting at least 90 percent in my classes,” he said
His asylum case is expected to be decided on May 9 when a judge will rule whether Younis deserves asylum based on religious persecution.
Younis says he left Pakistan bound for Panama four years ago after being the target of discrimination, hatred and violence due to his Christian beliefs in a Muslim country.
After spending two years in Panama, he and a group of friends set off for the United States in November 2021.
He’s been living in San Luis Obispo with his sponsor, Fitzgerald Kelly, for almost a year.
He’s expected in immigration court on May 9 in Van Nuys in the Los Angeles area.