(CNN) -- Pedro Ramirez is the student body president at Fresno State University in California. He is also an illegal immigrant.
Ramirez moved with his parents from Mexico when he was 3. He has little memory of living anywhere other than Tulare, California, located about 45 miles outside Fresno.
He said he assumed he was a U.S. citizen until his senior year in high school when his parents broke the news to him.
"I wanted to go to the military, but then I started asking questions and found out I wasn't a citizen. And then I found out I was undocumented," Ramirez told CNN in a phone interview.
"I knew I was born in Mexico, but I was under the impression that we fixed our legal residency. So when I found out that wasn't the case, I was a little taken away. [My parents], they did it to protect me. They didn't do it as a harmful thing."
For the past four years, Ramirez has lied about being a citizen. When he started college at Fresno, he told a few friends about his illegal status and hoped they would keep his secret.
On Tuesday, his secret was out in the open after an anonymous tip to the Fresno State newspaper, The Collegian.
"I don't know who would do that to me," he said.
Under Fresno State code, there are no citizen requirements for a student to join the college government...[Full Article]