Illegal immigrant runs for student president at Texas A&M

Jose Luis Zelaya is among several candidates for the universityâ??s top student post.

A candidate running for student body president at Texas A&M University is making headlines because of his immigration status.

Jose Luis Zelaya is among several candidates for the university TMs top student post.

But the Texas A&M graduate student has come under fire for rivals due to his immigration status.

Zelaya came with his mother from Honduras when he was 14 years old .

Fleeing an abusive and alcoholic husband, Zelaya TMs mother settled in Houston where he grew up.

In a video posted to YouTube, the 24-year-old college student said he was once homeless but has overcome adversity to attain a college education.

According to a recent Houston Chronicle article, one rival confronted him about his immigration status.

Zelaya confirmed he is an illegal immigrant but said it would not impact his ability to serve in office.

"I'm not running because I'm undocumented. I'm running because I'm an Aggie," the Houston Chronicle quoted Zelaya as saying. "It's just like, what if I was gay? Would they have asked me if being gay was going to play a role? If I was atheist, would they ask me those things? What does it take to be seen as a regular Aggie, not as an undocumented Aggie?"

It TMs not the first time that an illegal immigrant has run for student body president at a Texas university.

Jose Arturo Guerra ran for the student body president of the University of Texas at Brownsville and won.