Feds Encourage Dropouts With Immigration Aid Denials

The Tribune has an interesting piece about what
happens to Chicago high school students who graduate but can't get
federal financial aid
because of their immigration status. 
Undocumented students

Others will differ, but it seems crazy to me in this day and age to educate kids for 12 years without regard to immigration status and then all of a sudden care about where they were born.  Either educate them or not, but don't change the rules halfway through the process, especially since they're likely to stay here anyway and may well become extremely productive members of society.  In practical terms, what's being done now is pretty much encouraging undocumented kids to drop out of high school or college.  You don't want to reward people for breaking the law but you don't want to change the rules at the last minute for those who have been here a long time, either.  Discuss. 


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  • I agree with you Alexander. That's why these youth would benefit from the DREAM Act, a bill stalled in Congress that would help legalize undocumented students who attend college for two years or complete two years of military service. I've been writing about this issue for the last 10 years. There has been no government action to help these students. Comment from Chicanisima. http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicanisima/

  • The only reason that I disagree with Russo is that a free, appropriate public education is only guaranteed through high school. There is not enough money to support needy students who are here legally (such as single mothers wanting a better life for their children) so the funds should not be stretched for those who broke the law. College is a privilege not a right and Mexico and other South American countries would not provide grants to United State citizens there illegally so why should we.

  • In reply to freeisrael3:

    No one is asking for a handout here. How about simply the opportunity to take advantage of Federal student loans? How about we say, "welcome to America; we're here to support you if you want to get an education and become a productive member of our society" These children did not break the law. They were brought her by their parents when they were very young.

    The son should not be punished for the sins of the father.

  • In reply to freeisrael3:


    When the valedictorian gave the speech at graduation any cop
    Could have grabbed him/her right off the stage and sent em home.
    Not to the little house in Chicago, but the hovel in Mexico . When this kid was
    Three years old the family fled the crushing life of a peon and traded it for
    a shot at success in the USA. This real smart kid is as much a Chicagoan as
    any other 18 year youngster. Perhaps we all should thank god people want to
    come here. College will be a real problem, despite the 4.25 GPA and the rank
    of one.
    I don

  • I agree with you, however once a undocumented student enters high school they should understand that they are here illegally and start the process to become a legal citizen. The billingual teachers, caseworkers, administrators are setting them up for failure if they encourage college but not legalization. If you are smart enough to get into college, surely you are smart enough to know that you must be a legal citizen to obtain school loans and assistance.

  • While it is a tragedy that undocumented students who were transported by their parents to the US are denied eligibility for student loans for college, it is also politically impossible for the Dream Act to be enacted during the current economic downturn. The Immigration and National Act is very specific with regard to the requirements which must be met by applicants to qualify for the student visa and these student will not meet that standard.

    Within the last 24 hours since the US Justice Dept has filed its complaint against Arizona over the legality of Arizona's S.B. 1070, the conservative movement has mobilized in defense of Arizona's right to effectively detain and arrest the very students we are discussing. Here is an example of the rhetoric being unleashed:


  • I struggle with this issue a lot! Some of the brightest students I encounter are undocumented. It is a shame that intelligent and bright undocumented students are not granted the same opportunities as their legal classmates. As many of you above have stated, most undocumented students are brought to the US at a very young age.It is very discouraging for students to know that once they graduate high school their educational opportunities dwindle down to nothing. I agree with helping undocumented students matriculate into colleges and universities, however, we are missing one huge piece of the puzzle. What happens after college graduation? There are instances where families and even communities come together to support a bright undocumented student and put them through college, but these are few cases. In a community like Little Village or Pilsen where many students are undocumented it is nearly impossible for all undocumented students to be fortunate enough to attend higher education. And those students who are granted that opportunity will graduate and guess what people

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