illegal immigrants

illegal immigrants

First Scholarship for Illegal Immigrants Granted at a Massachusetts College

In Amherst, Massachusetts, Hampshire College has begun a scholarship fund earmarked for a select group of college hopefuls: illegal immigrants. The scholarship plans to give $25,000 to one student each year who lives in the U.S. but does not hold U.S. citizenship so that he or she can earn a degree. The first recipient received the scholarship for 2012-2013 school year.

The fund has $300,000 so far that was donated by alumni, students, parents, and other donors at Hampshire College. Currently, undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts must pay out-of-state tuition to attend college, with Hampshire charging $43,000 in yearly tuition. The federal government does not give any financial aid to illegal immigrants.

A handful of other colleges and universities also offer scholarships specifically for illegal immigrants, but this is the first in Massachusetts. States vary on their handling of the issue of whether to let illegal immigrants attend college and if they should receive discount rates. Most states treat them as international students and charge out-of-state tuition rates, with thirteen offering in-state tuition. Three states allow illegal immigrants to receive state financial aid, but three others – Georgia, Colorado, and South Carolina – ban them from attending state colleges and universities. Read the rest of this entry »



California Dream Act Makes It Possible for Illegal Immigrants To Receive Financial Aid

California Dream Act LogoAnahit Grigoryan is like many students in the USA. For a long time, she has wanted to study medicine and become a doctor. She graduated from high school in 2009 and enrolled in a community college with plans of transferring to a four-year school in the future.

However, Grigoryan cannot take the MCAT test, nor will she ever be able to take the Hippocratic Oath. Why is this? Because Grigoryan is an illegal immigrant in the USA, which makes it impossible for her to have a driver’s license, a legitimate job, or even a social security number.

“My whole life is a lie,” she said. “Every time someone asks me why I don’t drive I have to make up some sort of excuse. I feel embarrassed.”

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Department of Education Reminds School Districts that Discrimination is Illegal

As school districts begin enrolling for the next school year, a letter from the U.S. Department of Education was sent out to remind school districts that denying elementary or secondary education to any student is federally prohibited. In response to recent reports of school districts rejecting students based on citizenship, the letter was meant to reinforce the federal guidelines of education as decided in the 1982 Supreme Court case, Plyer v. Doe.

The decision of Plyer v. Doe upholds the inability of any state to deny public education to students whether they are a citizen of the United States or not. Denying education to illegal immigrants was seen as imposing a hardship on minors who were not accountable for the immigration decisions of their parents. Despite the actions of several American school districts participating in education discrimination this has been the law since 1982.

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Education Key in Obama’s State of The Union Address

By Jason Knapfel

Last night’s State of the Union address came at a compelling time in President Obama’s first term in office. It comes on the heels of the Arizona tragedy that took the lives of six people and injured 13 others, including congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

This timing has presented an opportunity for the president to try to bring the country a little closer together, which is especially important in these politically divisive times.

President Obama has a little more political capital right now, which could afford him the opportunity to move forward on some initiatives he champions. After his speech in Arizona and some minor signs of economic improvement, the president’s poll numbers are as high as they’ve been since the beginning of his term.

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Maryland Senator Proposes In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants

Maryland Senator Victor Ramirez

Newly elected Maryland Senator Victor Ramirez is planning to introduce legislation that allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates when attending college within the state. This would be an option only for those who spent two years at a state high school. The tuition break comes out to around $15,000 when comparing in-state rates to those that out of state students pay. The democratic governor of Maryland stated he would sign the bill for in-state tuition. Ramirez believes that the bill has a better chance of passing due to the new makeup of the state senate. The requirements for receiving the in-state tuition rate include attending two years of high school in the state of Maryland, having parents who pay income tax, and signing a sworn affidavit to complete the paperwork to become a United States citizen.

This legislation is not being met with total support though. Delegate Pat McDonough has stated that he plans to introduce 15 new bills that will crack down on illegal immigration rather than giving tuition breaks. McDonough wants to include some proposals that will ban colleges from giving illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates. He doesn’t believe it is fair to taxpayers or law-abiding citizens to allow undocumented immigrants to receive those tuition rates.

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