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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Education > More Undocumented Students Go on Hunger Strike for an Education: Are Legislators Listening?

More Undocumented Students Go on Hunger Strike for an Education: Are Legislators Listening?

LatinaLista — In just a few weeks, school starts.
But for some of the 65,000 undocumented high school graduates, they would need to win the lottery to be able to afford to attend their hometown colleges.

(Source: uga.edu)


Some state legislatures, in their excitement to get on the bandwagon of persecuting the undocumented, have decided to take target practice at the children now.
For some reason, they don’t understand that undocumented students aren’t eligible for government-funded financial aid and so they are going out of their way to make the kids suffer the sins of their parents by charging these kids out-of-state tuition.
Out-of-state tuition can be as high as three times the amount of in-state tuition. Couple that with the increase in college prices and it makes trying to get an education out of the reach of most undocumented students.
According to the College Board:

Four-year public colleges cost $5,836 (up 6.3 percent from last year)
Two-year public community colleges cost $2,272 (up 4.1 percent from last year)
Students will pay, on average, from $337 to $386 more than last year for this year’s room and board, depending on the type of college.
41 percent of all students attend two-year colleges. The average full-time student enrolled in a public two-year college student receives about $2,200 in grants and tax benefits, which reduces the average tuition and fees paid from the published price of $2,272 to a net price of under $100.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to the undocumented students.
It’s ironic that the kids can see the value of getting an education whereas the legislators would rather them loiter on the streets, getting bored, and possibly getting into trouble.
One would think that any state legislator, who exercised foresight, could see that an educated young person, regardless of their citizenship status, is an asset to the local economy – if they were allowed to put their education to work after graduation.
All these elements are encompassed in the DREAM Act waiting for congressional approval to help those undocumented students enroll in college, get their degrees and put their knowledge to work as proud new citizens.
The problem is not enough people know about the DREAM Act or how these punitive laws aimed at the kids really impact them.
But in Arizona, home to some of the harshest legislation targeting the undocumented, a group of college students want people to be aware and so they are on Day 3 of a 5-day hunger strike.

They are calling it YouthStrike and they have taken their cue from last spring’s marches and rallies to organize via the internet.
From their web site, to a MySpace page, the YouthStrike team is reaching out to their peers and asking everyone who visits these sites to help support their cause by sacrificing for one week something they enjoy eating/doing.
The students on the hunger strike have four more days until they allow themselves to eat.
Imagine, students going on a hunger strike so they can go to school.
That’s a quality that deserves to be nurtured and grown — not deported for someone else’s benefit.

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