Undocumented, Unafr- Maybe a little afraid?


Estrella Velazquez

Tinajero’s group runs the marathon every year to raise funds for undocumented students.

Last November, President Barack Obama announced a series of executive actions that benefited many people who are here illegally. One of the actions that affects a part of the community at Jones College Prep were corrections made to  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). one of which would allow the people who before the action, had gotten here one day too late to be eligible for the DACA that came out on June 15, 2012, to apply for a work permit that would be valid for 3 years as opposed to 2.

However on January 14 most GOP House members said they would not vote to fund the Department of Homeland Security without measures taken to end many of President Obama’s immigration policies, one of which is DACA. DHS’s funding is set to run out at the end of February therefore this is a hot topic being discussed right now.

One of the amendments that was approved to the DHS funding bill would end DACA and block those who already have it from renewing their legal status,something that must be done every two years. Apart from blocking those programs the House republicans would take the priorities memos that instruct U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) to focus on certain categories of undocumented immigrants. It would cause local law enforcement to hold all suspected deportable immigrants for ICE without any consideration.

Republicans don’t oppose ICE prioritizing who to deport, but they mind some undocumented immigrants receiving benefits such as work permits

As an undocumented student, this makes me extremely worried.

Worried that; what if DACA does get cancelled, worried that I could get deported, worried for not only myself but all the people that I care about who are undocumented immigrants. Makes me worried that I may be able to start college, but will I be able to finish it? Will I be able to even afford it? Is today my last day in the U.S.?

These are some of the questions that not only I ask myself but others ask themselves as well.

Adriana Tinajero is an advocate for immigrant’s rights. She works with an immigration committee that has been dedicated to helping the community thrive and succeed with whatever resources are  available. Tinajero said “This Executive action would help so many students who arrived at the U.S. a little bit too late to qualify for the first DACA.” She knows many high school students who struggle to go to college due to their ineligibility for many scholarships and Federal student aid (FAFSA). However she focuses on helping them achieve the goal of college, as an undocumented student herself she understands how hard it is to pay for college when all the odds are against you. Tinajero said “I graduated 2008 from high school and it has taken me 7 years to finally complete a bachelor of music degree.” she said that although it took her so long and there were many times when she felt like giving up, she always thought to the future, she is now the first college graduate of her family.

College is not impossible for anyone, even someone in the worst of situations can go to a great university. According to Tinajero the thing that kept her going was the faith her family had in her, not only that but also the faith she had in herself. So although it may not be at the top of your list of possibilities, don’t erase it completely. Instead, work harder so that eventually college is at the top of your list of possibilities.

Who knows what the answer to the questions I mentioned may be, all that matters in the end is that you tried.

Below is a list of scholarships available to Undocumented Students (also available for DACAmented students).

  1. Illinois Dream Fund (http://www.illinoisdreamfund.org/) Deadline N/A
  2. The Illinois Dream Fund scholarship seeks to create access to financially fund undocumented immigrant from Illinois.
  3. Hispanic Scholarship Fund Deadline March 30 (https://hsf.net/en/scholarships/programs/general-college-scholarships#sthash.mHwqXqjB.dpuf)
  4. HSF/ General College Scholarships are designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage obtain a college degree. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis.
  5. Becas UNIVISION (https://univision.hsfts.net/#/) Deadline March 30
  6. Multiple scholarships that don’t require GPA or an Essay. Deadlines Vary http://noticias.univision.com/article/1790425/2015-01-12/educacion/becas-universitarias/gana-miles-en-becas-sin-ensayos-ni-gpa
  7. Esperanza Fund Scholarship (http://www.esperanzafund.org/scholarship/)  Deadline April 1
  8. Ayn Rand “The Fountainhead” Essay Contest Deadline April 26 (https://www.collegegreenlight.com/page/scholarships/details.jsp?scholarshipID=2541)
Photo by Estrella Velazquez