The secret thoughts of a Maryland School of Public Policy prof | Main | "Civic Populism," an essay by guest blogger Harry Boyte

May 05, 2006

stateless college students

Doug McGray has a great cover story in the LA Times Sunday magazine about kids who complete college in the US despite being illegal immigrants. For example, Thi was born in Germany to Vietnamese refugees who took her to the US when she was very small. She is not eligible to work, live, or vote in any country. Her parents didn't initially understand their own immigration status, but when Thi finally learned from a lawyer that she is stateless, the lawyer said, "Grow some balls. This happens to people."

People like Thi (an excellent student and great "citizen" who worked at a local police station during high school) are ineligible for in-state tuition and financial aid. She and many others make their way through college, anyway. Thi is a senior at UCLA. Yesterday, I met an originally undocumented Kenyan who had paid her own way through a BA and an MA in the US.

There is legislation in Congress, the DREAM Act, that would grant high school graduates conditional resident status. If they graduated from college or completed military service, they would be eligible for Green Cards. The DREAM Act has been pending since 2001.

Posted by peterlevine at May 5, 2006 08:55 AM

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