With some 20 years living in the United States illegally, José Beteta, is the newest member of the city of Boulder, Colorado’s Human Relations Commission.
The city council appointed the 34 year old Beteta, who was born in Costa Rica, to the vacant position after voters in Boulder eliminated the requirement that board members be registered to vote. The very board to which Beteta was appointed suggested that the measure be put on the November ballot.
Beteta has admitted publicly that he has been living for the past two decades in the United States, including the last three years in Boulder, illegally.
The Tico told the Denver Post his illegal status is the result of mistakes made by an immigration lawyer years ago, but that he is happy for the opportunity to contribute to the city where he’s lived for the past three years. He also said he hopes to inspire others to become more involved in their communities.
“Jose was one of those people who took advantage of the way you can get onto boards and commissions,” City Councilman Tim Plass said during a council meeting earlier this week. “I think it’s exciting to actually see we changed the rules, and someone applied and took advantage. We now have someone like Jose who is going to be on our board.”
The Human Relations Commission promotes diversity in Boulder and enforces the city’s Human Rights Ordinance, according to the Denver Post.
Beteta revealed himself as being in the country illegally about a year ago after seeing a play in Boulder by young Latinos titled “Do You Know Who I Am?”
“It gave me the courage,” he said. “I realized I have nothing to lose because my knowledge and experience, no one can take that away.”
“I’m basically opening the door for others to follow,” Beteta is quoted as saying in the Post. “It’s one more opportunity for people to be able to contribute to their community.”
Beteta owns a small business in Boulder, founded the LeapTech Solutions in July 2008 (business and technology solutions that takes care of website development, among others) and is chairman of the Latin Chamber of Commerce City Boulder.
“I think it’s really exciting to see that we change the rules, and someone asked what he did use it ( … ) Now we have someone like Joseph (José) who will be on our board”, said Boulder City Councilman Tim Plass .
With notes from Denver Post, The Daily Caller and Facebook