Students seek more funding for illegal immigrant graduate students

Students at Claremont University, a graduate university in California, are pursuing more resources for graduate students residing in the United States illegally.

A recent story published in the LA Times highlighted the difficulties of student Iliana Perez in funding her graduate studies. A non-resident of the United States, Perez struggled to find funding for continuing her education until she received a scholarship from Claremont University.

Perez is leading an effort to gain more resources at her university for graduate students who are not legal residents. Tuition at the graduate university runs about $22,000 for a standard course load.

“I would say at the undergraduate level there are systems in place that have been a huge success. In graduate school, the resources are very limited,” Denisse Rojas, director of Pre-Health Dreamers, a nonprofit immigrant advocacy group focusing on education issues, told the LA Times.

This attempt at Claremont, a private institution in California, is only the latest in an effort to provide resources for illegal immigrants pursuing higher education. Last year, as many as 22 states offered in-state tuition for illegal residents.

While illegal immigrants are now eligible for in-state tuition in many states, out-of-state and international students are still saddled with high tuition rates. A recent video by Campus Reform demonstrated many of their frustrations when students shredded their “Social Security cards” in order to be eligible for in-state tuition.

Perez is currently studying the effects of deportation on college-educated Mexican nationals, but was unable to interview individuals in Mexico because of her fear that she may not be able to return to the United States.

In 2012, Perez published a how-to guide for finding work following college, specifically for undocumented students.

Pre-Health Dreamers and Iliana Perez did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform.

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