Student Voice Platform
ASCBC Student Voice Academy Issue Paper 2012
Every year, high school students anticipate the day of attending college and not having to stress once they receive their financial assistance. For those students who are undocumented, this stress is ever present and sometimes magnified, because there is little to no financial assistance for their higher educational pursuits. An undocumented student is someone who was born in a foreign country and was brought to the U.S. at a very young age. Now as high school graduates, many discover that they are defined as illegal and cannot receive financial assistance due to the fact they don’t have a social security number. It should not be up to a number or a piece of paper to determine the future of a student. Instead, we should look at their effort, their love for the United States, and contributions to society. There is support from the many educational institutions around the state of Washington to approach legislators and draft a bill extending eligibility for the State Need Grant (SNG) to undocumented students.
Washington state is benefiting labor of undocumented workers in the agriculture industry. The apple industry alone earned $1.4 billion in 2010 (The Value of Immigrants in Washington State Slide 2), but the children of the workers are not allowed to receive a portion of financial aid. By not supporting undocumented students to be eligible for the WA SNG, our economy will continue to struggle. In order to progress, we need to educate our youth. Education is the key in re-establishing stability, creativity, and productivity in our country. Many states like California, Oklahoma, and Texas (Undocumented Students and Higher Education in Washington: Barriers and Opportunities Page 5) have already taken initiative to support this cause and are allowing undocumented students to receive funding for their post secondary education. Let’s make Washington the first state up north to support this cause.
Not only will we be helping students of our state, but we will be helping the overall state of our economy by creating more job opportunities once these students graduate. Let’s get Washington on board with supporting this cause too!
Yesenia Lazaro (ASCBC President)
Lily Reyes (Leadership Council Representative)
Jesus Larios (Leadership Council Representative)
Yair Barron (CBC Student Athlete)
Don't forget to check out the full version of the platform which includes a works cited page.
Related links and helpful information
Who is an undocumented student? These students usually come to the U.S. at a young age with their parents and do not have a citizenship or resident status. Because of this, they are not able to apply for financial aid and many other benefits to help with their higher education.
Common Myths- The National Council of La Raza, a national Hispanic civil rights advocacy organization, has compiled many myths about undocumented immigrants and these help us understand more about undocumented immigrants and their rights.
Dreamers Guide- Undocumented students are unable to receive financial aid for college but in the state of Washington they are able to pay resident tuition because of HB1079. Enclosed are tips and guidance for undocumented students and more information on HB1079.
The Dream Act- Through this act, undocumented students would have the chance to apply for a temporary legal status and then apply for permanent residency. In order to apply, students would have to meet certain criteria found in this link. While the legislation has gone to congress before, it has yet to pass.
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