NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Connecticut college student fighting deportation to stay in the United States is getting some high-powered support.

Governor Dannel Malloy has joined the grass-roots campaign to stop federal officials from deporting 23-year-old Mariano Cardoso, who is a month away from getting an engineering degree at Capitol Community College.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau With Sen. Richard Blumenthal

Cardoso was 22 months old when his parents left Mexico in search of a better life. They eventually settled in the Bronx. He now lives outside Hartford.

Cardoso said his dream is to become a math professor or civil engineer.

“Every part of it has been because I worked for it and my father worked for it,” he said.

However, Cardoso is in danger of losing everything because his parents immigrated to the United States illegally. In 2008, federal immigration officials discovered his undocumented status. Now he’s due to be deported within 60 days.

Cardoso’s case got the attention of Connecticut’s top leaders. In a letter, Gov. Malloy asked federal immigration officials to hold off on deporting him.

“We’ve made a substantial investment as a society in this young man. I’d like to see that pay off for us,” Malloy said.

The head of the state GOP said illegal immigration is a strain on limited resources.

“We can’t have illegal immigration continuing to punish state and local governments with millions of dollars of health care costs and education costs and public safety costs,” Chairman Chris Healy said.

As for Cardoso, he said if he is deported, he’ll find a way back.

“I’ll try to get back. I’ll try to find a way to come back…because there’s nothing that is waiting for me over there,” he said.