Undocumented students across the state of Missouri will have to face a new challenge this upcoming school year.
Republicans in the state legislature have moved forward a proposal that would deny undocumented students access to in-state tuition at public college and universities – and instructed the university system to charge these student the highest tuition rate possible.
About a month before the school year started, the Legislature put in place a rule that said colleges and universities have to charge so-called DACA students the highest tuition rate available. For some students, this meant they would be paying more than double what they expected.
The impact of SB 224, the bill that designates the change in rules, will not be felt by undocumented immigrants this fall – as many colleges are scrambling to secure private funding to assist the students. However, it is noteworthy that the bill’s success was largely in part due to a veto override by the Republican majority, as Governor Jay Nixon did not authorize the bill for final approval.
Again, the St. Louis Dispatch reports:
While a number of college leaders have said the state should be doing more, not less, to create opportunities for students to go to college, several have declined to speak out publicly because they did not want to be seen as criticizing lawmakers.
Despite everything that has taken place, undocumented students have not wasted any time.
A protest highlighting the issue took place yesterday outside the St. Louis Community College’s downtown office, where student spoke against the hike in tuition cost and pledged to keep up the pressure on the university system and state legislators.
One of the students impacted by by the rising tuition costs, Naomi Carranza, shared what this means for her academic career during an interview with St. louis Public Radio:
“I’ve been working since I was 16 and I’ve been saving up since I was 16, when I first got my DACA status,” she said. “I’m trying to move forward, and everyone wants to keep me going backwards.”,
As Republican party continues to allow our immigration system to remain broken, push forward with their challenge to the DACA and DAPA programs, and continue to insult and demean immigrants, is there really no limit to how much dignity they are willing tos trip away from hard working immigrant families?