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Miguel Aguilar Could Have Been Deported but Now He’s a Pro Soccer Player

Miguel Aguilar is a rookie midfielder for D.C. United of Major League Soccer. 

Aguilar is also the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient to sign a major league sports contract. 

Aguilar and his family left El Paso and headed to California. 

Aguilar was a high school star on the pitch, but he would often come home to an empty home. 

Thanks to his soccer coaches, Aguilar turned the corner academically his junior year and never looked back. 

He was MLS bound after a stellar career with the Dons. 

Aguilar gained legal status two and a half years ago under DACA. 

But being a pro athlete doesn’t get Aguilar through customs any faster when he’s at the airport. 

Credit: @migue.an17 / Instagram

When Aguilar travels abroad with D.C. United, he carries a Mexican passport and special work permit. Despite the paperwork, Aguilar sometimes gets stuck at airports for hours. One time, Aguilar was delayed for so long that he missed a team flight after returning from a match in Costa Rica.

Sometimes, his status has affected his pro career.

Aguilar says he’s not sure which soccer national team he’d play for – Mexico or the US – if given the opportunity. 

Credit: dcunited.com

“I still feel my roots are in Mexico, but it’s close,” Aguilar told the Washington Post. “My love for the sport, it all started in Mexico, but here is where I realized my dream.”

Even with all the soccer success, Aguilar still finds time to give back to his community.

Credit: The Sacramento Bee / YouTube

Earlier this year, Aguilar visited students at his alma mater, Encina High School to encourage them to pursue their dreams. “Never forget where you come from. That’s one of the things that has stuck with me,” said Aguilar to The Sacramento Bee.

After rough times in in Juárez, Miguel Aguilar and his family are living the American dream. 

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