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Immigration Laws For Students

Through DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the federal government is promising to grant certain undocumented individuals the benefit of residing in the United States without the fear of deportation and authorizing them to work. It has been clarified time and time again, however, that DACA-eligible individuals will not be granted any benefits aside from these. A crucial question to many has surfaced in light of this recent initiative: what of college education? There is no federal or state law that prohibits undocumented individuals to U.S. colleges, whether public or private. However, undocumented applicants to colleges and universities face higher tuition, often paying out-of-state tuition or foreign-student tuition. While out-of-state and foreign students who have documentation have the benefit of applying for and receiving financial aid, those who do not have documentation are unable to partake in this advantage. This places higher education financially out of reach for many otherwise bright and talented individuals.

Deferred Action Status

Deferred Action for Childhood ArrivalsWhat Ricardo Sanchez, chairman of Latino/a Educational Achievement Project, advocates increased efforts to offer financial aids to undocumented college students. In 2009, Sanchez attempted a similar measure in Washington State, however, it was unsuccessful as it did not make it past committees. Now, Sanchez continues advocating for state financial aid to be opened to undocumented college students, arguing that the students and their families contribute their share to the state’s economy by paying taxes. Additionally, he argues, many potential beneficiaries of this new measure are children of workers in the agricultural sector, which is one of the state’s primary economic sectors.

Deferred Action Immigration

While this quells certain concerns regarding financial burdens on the state, the core concern should be the value this measure would add to not only the state, but the country as a whole. Just in the state of Washington, analysts have assumed that a financial aid policy offered to undocumented individuals would increase the number of statewide higher education students by 1,000 in any given year. With this increase in higher-skilled individuals, there can only be positive results as the pool of qualified individuals would grow in size. Thusly, the number of higher-skilled workers available for employment would increase, which can only be beneficent to our economy.Deferred Action for Childhood ArrivalsOffering financial aid to undocumented higher education students obviously requires an in-depth cost-benefit analysis. However, when it comes to education, does it not seem commonsensical to suggest that the more individuals benefitting from higher education, the better?
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