VOTE: Should Rutgers host a college fair for unauthorized immigrants?
As the saying goes, “life isn’t fair.” But it may be “fairer” for some.
Take for instance the children of undocumented or illegal immigrants who’ve been brought to this country as children – and are now allowed to attend state colleges paying in-state rates.
There is no disputing this law, known as the DREAM Act, which was signed by Governor Christie back in 2013.
At the time it was seen as pandering to Hispanics, who are a pivotal voting block Republicans have sought after.
Fast forward to this weekend when Rutgers Newark will be holding its first ever "undocuRutgers" – a three hour fair which will give Dreamers important information on all the resources available to them as “undocumented students.”
Student activist Giancarlo Tello, a Belleville resident who was brought to this country from Peru at the age of 6, said,
"I still get a lot of undocumented students who want to go to college and who don't know who to talk to.”
"How do you fill out an application if you don't have a Social Security number?"
Without sounding snarky, it is problematic doing anything without a Social Security number.
Funny – the authors of the DREAM Act never did quite figure that one out. Again, without debating the merits of the act, the folks at Rutgers Newark may have figured that one out.
To that end, representatives of Rutgers-Newark's law school will be at Saturday's college fair to discuss legal issues facing these students, including how unauthorized immigrant students can apply for federal deferred action waivers.
"Undocumented children and their parents are a really underrepresented community." "Many of them have dreams. The more we can assist them . . . the better."
Again, there’s no disputing that the DREAM ACT is a reality in the state. Students who qualify as Dreamers pay in-state rates to state colleges, but are not qualified to receive state or federal financial aid.
It does seem kind of odd that a seminar like this would be held giving Dreamers the information they need to take full advantage of programs for which they qualify – but not make them eligible for student loans.
Not that they should be.
However it feels like on one hand we’re saying, “…No financial assistance for you. You’re on your own” - but on the other, “….We’ll do whatever we can to assist you.”
Is Rutgers doing the right thing by holding a college fair for undocumented students?