WBEZ | undocumented http://www.wbez.org/tags/undocumented Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Attendance Drops at Maryland High School, as Deportation Fears Rise http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-19/attendance-drops-maryland-high-school-deportation-fears <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/istock_000066798857_medium_wide-568210156e87a867efc380ff9aca55253226a61d-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>At one high school in Maryland, fears of deportation are playing out in the classroom.</p><p>In Prince George&#39;s County, a suburb of Washington, D.C., about 70 percent of the students at High Point High School are Latino. It&#39;s a student population that&#39;s prompted the school&#39;s principal, Sandra Jimenez, to term it &quot;Central American Ellis Island.&quot;</p><p>Principal Jimenez says the fear of deportation raids is making many immigrant students scared to come to school, despite assurances from government officials that there are no raids happening at schools.</p><p>It&#39;s a concern that was echoed in a statement by Dr. Kevin Maxwell, CEO of Prince George&#39;s County Public Schools in an&nbsp;<a href="http://www1.pgcps.org/ceo/index.aspx?id=221188">open letter to DHS</a>.</p><p>&quot;I am deeply troubled by the fear and uncertainty that exists in so many of our school communities as a result of the actions of the Department of Homeland Security,&quot; he wrote. &quot;We urge federal authorities to see schools and other public gathering places as areas where no enforcement activities should take place and ask them to strongly consider the devastating impacts of their actions on the academic, social and emotional well-being of all of our students.&quot;</p><p>DHS declined an interview request from NPR, but said in a statement that the agency &quot;does not conduct &#39;raids.&#39; ICE focuses on those who have been issued a final order of removal from a judge.&quot;</p><p>Jimenez joined NPR&#39;s Michel Martin to discuss the drama that is playing out on her campus.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/17/463405722/attendance-drops-at-maryland-high-school-as-deportation-fears-rise?ft=nprml&amp;f=463405722" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 14:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-19/attendance-drops-maryland-high-school-deportation-fears Appeals court deals blow to Obama's immigration plan http://www.wbez.org/news/appeals-court-deals-blow-obamas-immigration-plan-113719 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/obama_immigration_custom-736ffe3644f565465e50f2237116dc6cad6f0c2a-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res455440370" previewtitle="It was about a year ago that President Obama announced executive actions that would shield millions of immigrants from deportation."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="It was about a year ago that President Obama announced executive actions that would shield millions of immigrants from deportation." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/10/obama_immigration_custom-736ffe3644f565465e50f2237116dc6cad6f0c2a-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="It was about a year ago that President Obama announced executive actions that would shield millions of immigrants from deportation. (Pool/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>(UPDATED AT 11:32 A.M. ET.)</p></div></div></div><p>A federal appeals court in New Orleans dealt President Obama a big blow on Monday&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/15/15-40238-CV0.pdf">when it ruled</a>&nbsp;that Obama had overstepped his legal authority in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/11/20/365519963/obama-will-announce-relief-for-up-to-5-million-immigrants">attempting to shield</a>up to 5 million immigrants from deportation.</p><p>The Obama administration has vowed to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.</p><p>NPR&#39;s Richard Gonzales filed this report for our Newscast unit:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;The 2-to-1 ruling upholds&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/02/17/386905806/federal-judge-blocks-obama-s-executive-actions-on-immigration">an injunction by a federal judge in Texas</a>&nbsp;who blocked President Obama&#39;s executive actions on immigration.</em></p><p><em>&quot;It was just about a year ago when the president announced his plan to allow parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to remain here and work without fear of deportation.</em></p><p><em>&quot;He also wanted to extend that protection to younger immigrants brought here as children. That plan was challenged by 26 states, led by Texas. The appellate court agreed that the president had overreached his authority.</em></p><p><em>&quot;Immigration activists argued that the president was acting within his authority.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>In a statement, Department of Justice spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said the department disagrees with the ruling.</p><p>&quot;The Department of Justice remains committed to taking steps that will resolve the immigration litigation as quickly as possible in order to allow DHS to bring greater accountability to our immigration system by prioritizing the removal of the worst offenders, not people who have long ties to the United States and who are raising American children,&quot; Rodenbush said.</p><p>At issue here is whether the executive actions fit within the powers of prosecutorial discretion granted to the executive branch.</p><p>A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Obama&#39;s executive action goes beyond merely saying that the executive would not try to deport these immigrants. Instead, the majority argues, Obama&#39;s executive action also allows those individuals to be &quot;lawfully present&quot; in the United States.</p><p>&quot;[Obama&#39;s immigration plan] is foreclosed by Congress&#39; careful plan; the program is &#39;manifestly contrary to the statute&#39; and therefore was properly enjoined,&quot; the two judges in the majority write.</p><p>In English, it means that the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 expressly lays out how and when an immigrant can legally remain in the country. The president, the court ruled, cannot unilaterally change that, even if Congress refuses to enact new immigration laws.</p><p>Another sticking point in this case is that the Obama administration argued that the court should not even be taking up this issue because it cannot review prosecutorial discretion action that the executive is making on a case-by-case basis.</p><p>The Obama administration argued that&#39;s how it would roll out this program, but the court dismissed that argument.</p><p>The lone dissenter in the case, Judge Carolyn Dineen King, writes that when the court dismissed that claim, it went way too far.</p><p>&quot;Although the very face of the Memorandum makes clear that it must be applied with such [case-by-case] discretion, the district court concluded on its own &mdash; prior to [the immigration program&#39;s] implementation, based on improper burden-shifting, and without seeing the need even to hold an evidentiary hearing &mdash; that the Memorandum is a sham, a mere &#39;pretext&#39; for the Executive&#39;s plan &#39;not [to] enforce the immigration laws as to over four million illegal aliens,&#39; &quot; King writes.</p><p>King concludes: &quot;I have a firm and definite conviction that a mistake has been made.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/10/455438464/appeals-court-deals-blow-to-obamas-immigration-plan?ft=nprml&amp;f=455438464" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 11:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/appeals-court-deals-blow-obamas-immigration-plan-113719 Get out of jail, get deported http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-04/get-out-jail-get-deported-113629 <p><header><figure><div id="file-93113"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/prison.jpg?itok=sm550Ifv" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Inmates leave the exercise yard at San Quentin state prison in San Quentin, California. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div></figure></header><div><div><article about="/stories/2015-11-03/get-out-jail-get-deported" typeof="sioc:Item foaf:Document"><div><p>Under a new law, some 6,000 federal prisoners will be freed as part of a plan by President Barack Obama to adjust federal drug penalties and ease prison overcrowding. That should be some good news to many of the families of these prisoners.&nbsp;</p></div></article></div></div><p>But not all.&nbsp;</p><p>Nearly a third of the 6,000 are foreign inmates who will be placed on a different track, one that may lead to deportation and leaving their families behind in the United States.</p><p>Immigration officials estimate that most of those foreign inmates are from Mexico. Once released, they will be handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for likely deportation &mdash;&nbsp;whether they legally immigrated to the US or illegally. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><div style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chart.png" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(Kuang Keng Kuek Ser/PRI)" /></div></div><p>While they are detained, an immigration judge will decide whether the inmate has a legal basis to remain in the United States.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Deportation is almost never automatic... but it is much more likely that somebody who does not have the federal government&#39;s permission to be in the United States will end up being deported,&quot; César Cuahuhtémoc, an immigration and criminal law professor at the University of Denver. &quot;The tricky part is that there is no right to an appointed counsel in an immigration court&quot; so they have to pay for their own attorney and if they can&#39;t, they will have to make their own case to fight deportation.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;We don&#39;t think of these migrants as being members of our community.&nbsp;We think of them as outsiders, as people who belong to some other country when in reality, many folks who are in the United States who are not US citizens have families.... their livelihoods are here, their homes, their properties are here, so they&#39;re very much part members of our community whether or not we think of them as such.&quot;</p><p>According to Reuters,<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/31/us-usa-justice-prisoners-idUSKCN0SO2O220151031#2VBsTBJar4OGjKfA.97" target="_blank">&nbsp;ICE said</a>&nbsp;it will ensure all immigrants subject to deportation &quot;receive the full process they are due while in removal proceedings and ICE custody,&quot; including access to phones to contact attorneys, consulates and legal aid groups.&nbsp;Cuahuhtémoc says that the US is adhering to the laws involving criminal acts,&nbsp;but he wonders&nbsp;&quot;whether this is morally sound.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-11-03/get-out-jail-get-deported" target="_blank"><em>PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 12:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-04/get-out-jail-get-deported-113629 Latino aldermen want city council to halt deportations http://www.wbez.org/news/latino-aldermen-want-city-council-halt-deportations-108171 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Deportation_130724_yp.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">The group wants city council to approve a resolution asking President Barack Obama to stop deporting undocumented immigrants. They say it destroys families.</p><p>Ald. Danny Solis (25th), who represents the largely Latino community of Pilsen said he worries the separation often negatively affects children.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I have gone to many of my schools, talked to the principals of our schools. And they talk about the problem of counseling,&rdquo; said Alderman Danny Solis.</p><p>Alderman George Cardenas (12th) says he wants that message sent to the White House.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This country is based on democratic values and we must uphold these values. And that&rsquo;s the message to Mr. President Obama,&rdquo; said Cardenas.</p><p>According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Obama administration has deported more than 1.9 million people since 2008. The resolution was referred to the city council&rsquo;s Committee on Human Relations. It&rsquo;s set for a public hearing at a future date.</p><p><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Yolanda Perdomo is a WBEZ host and producer. Follow her </span><a href="http://www.twitter.com/yolandanews" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-style: italic; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@yolandanews</span></a><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">.</span></p></p> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/latino-aldermen-want-city-council-halt-deportations-108171 Sen. Durbin says draft immigration reform bill imminent http://www.wbez.org/news/sen-durbin-says-draft-immigration-reform-bill-imminent-106541 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/durbin_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said Monday the &ldquo;Gang of Eight&rdquo; could meet as soon as Tuesday to discuss a proposed immigration reform bill.</p><p>Sen. Durbin is a member of the bipartisan group of eight senators tasked with developing comprehensive immigration reform. At a press conference Monday, he pushed back on suggestions that the bill may not include ramped up border security.</p><p>&ldquo;The Republicans wouldn&rsquo;t have sat down at the table if we didn&rsquo;t agree to more border security, and it will be included,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It goes beyond anything I would have suggested but that&rsquo;s the nature of a compromise.&rdquo;</p><p>He said Democrats insisted on a &ldquo;pathway to citizenship&rdquo; for approximately 11 million immigrants living in the country without legal papers. The bill is also expected to include a guest worker program for low-skilled workers.</p><p>Sen. Durbin suggested the group could propose a bill by the end of the week. Once it emerges from the bipartisan group, any immigration reform deal will go through Senate Judiciary Committee and be subject to debate on the senate floor.</p><p><em>Lewis Wallace is a WBEZ Pritzker Journalism Fellow. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/lewispants">@lewispants</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sen-durbin-says-draft-immigration-reform-bill-imminent-106541 Legislators warn residents of compromises on immigration reform http://www.wbez.org/news/legislators-warn-residents-compromises-immigration-reform-106512 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/DurbinGutierrez_130405_acm(1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Luis Gutierrez Thursday warned that a senate immigration reform bill in the works might not address all of the problems facing residents living illegally in the United States.</p><p>They spoke to residents of the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Little Village in Chicago. They shared their optimism about a proposal from the team of bipartisan senators scheduled to come out next week. It offers a path to citizenship.</p><p>Senator Durbin said his ideal comprehensive package will be trimmed during negotiations at the nation&#39;s capital. The fundamentals, however, aren&#39;t up for debate.</p><p>&ldquo;We said to everybody, every senator walking into that room, before you sit down, you have to commit,&rdquo; Durbin said. &ldquo;That when this is over, these people will have the opportunity to become legal and then become citizens, and they say &lsquo;yes.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>But in a recent New York Times editorial co-authored with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gutierrez also expressed concern about farm workers and the possibility of a guest-worker program.</p><p>According to news reports, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce&nbsp; and the AFL-CIO have agreed on a work visa program that requires companies to pay immigrant workers fair wages.&nbsp;</p><p>Gutierrez hinted during a small gathering with constituents on Thursday that any proposal written by members in his chamber needs to addresses those issues.</p><p>The gathering took place at Enlace Chicago, a local community organization. Students and their parents shared their stories and asked both Durbin and Gutierrez to keep their concerns in mind.</p><p>Karen Canales is a current senior at Social Justice High School. She said President Obama&rsquo;s recent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program does not really give her the opportunities she needs to move forward in her career.</p><p>&ldquo;The derefer action doesn&rsquo;t guarantee any FAFSA, any government loans for me to continue my education,&rdquo; Canales said.</p><p>Justina Alfaro is also a senior from Farragut Career Academy. She said eight years ago her dad was deported back to Mexico for not having a driver&rsquo;s license. She said she hopes the new immigration proposals will focus on reuniting families.</p><p>&ldquo; I was 11 years old when I saw that my dad was being arrested,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been difficult for my family&nbsp; and for me because he was the support of the house.&rdquo;</p><p>Senator Durbin said if an agreement on immigration reform is reached, the bill will go to the Judiciary committee to start an amendment process.&nbsp; Meanwhile, Gutierrez said a House bill could be coming soon after the Senate&rsquo;s proposal.</p></p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 10:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/legislators-warn-residents-compromises-immigration-reform-106512 Jose Antonio Vargas: My Undocumented Life http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/jose-antonio-vargas-my-undocumented-life-106446 <p><p>Over his 15 years as a journalist, <strong>Jose Antonio Vargas</strong> interviewed some of the most accomplished people in America, and shared in a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech. For 14 of those years, he hid the fact that he is an undocumented immigrant, &quot;living in a different kind of reality, relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.&quot;&nbsp;</p><div>Vargas presented My Undocumented Life, part of the Rudolf G. Schade Lecture Series, at Elmhurst College.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A rising-star journalist, Vargas was writing for some of the most prestigious news organizations in the country, including &quot;The Washington Post,&quot; &quot;Rolling Stone&quot; and &quot;The New Yorker.&quot; In 2007, the daily journal &quot;Politico&quot; named him one of the 50 Politicos To Watch. All the while, Vargas was leading a double life, hiding the fact that he was an undocumented immigrant.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;This deceit never got easier,&quot; he said. &quot;The more I did it, the more I felt like an impostor, the more guilt I carried &mdash; and the more I worried that I would get caught.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In the summer of 2011, 18 years after arriving in America, Vargas exposed his story in his groundbreaking essay, My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant, for the &quot;New York Times Magazine.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Today, Vargas runs Define American, a non-profit organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Elmhurst College is a leading liberal arts college located eight miles west of Chicago. The College&rsquo;s mission is to prepare its students for meaningful and ethical work in a multicultural, global society. Approximately 3,400</div><div>full- and part-time students are enrolled in its 23 undergraduate academic departments and 10 graduate degree programs.</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/EC-webstory_13.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Recorded live Thursday, March 7, 2013 at Elmhurst College.</p></p> Thu, 07 Mar 2013 10:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/jose-antonio-vargas-my-undocumented-life-106446 Dear Chicago: Help us go to college http://www.wbez.org/story/education/dear-chicago-help-us-go-college <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Jesus_8805.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Jesus Palafox, 21, came to the U.S. illegally when he was 11. He was the last member of his immediate family to make it across the border, posing as a son of a relative who was an American citizen.</p><p>Palafox knew he wanted to attend college, but as he grew older, he realized he&rsquo;d face a monumental challenge: in Illinois undocumented students can pay in-state tuition at public universities, but they&rsquo;re ineligible for most student loans. Meanwhile, the number of affordable alternatives is dwindling. One option, Chicago&rsquo;s City Colleges, may soon be out of reach if the city ends open admission, <a href="../../../../../../story/news/education/cutting-open-admission-city-colleges-draws-fire">as was proposed last summer</a>.</p></p> Mon, 07 Mar 2011 11:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/education/dear-chicago-help-us-go-college Dear Chicago: Help us go to college http://www.wbez.org/story/american-friends-service-committee/dear-chicago-help-us-go-college <p><div id="PictoBrowser120123123819">&nbsp;</div><script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser/swfobject.js"></script><script type="text/javascript"> var so = new SWFObject("http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser.swf", "PictoBrowser", "500", "498", "8", "#EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("source", "sets"); so.addVariable("names", "Dear Chicago: Help us go to college"); so.addVariable("userName", "chicagopublicmedia"); so.addVariable("userId", "33876038@N00"); so.addVariable("ids", "72157628998996281"); so.addVariable("titles", "off"); so.addVariable("displayNotes", "always"); so.addVariable("thumbAutoHide", "off"); so.addVariable("imageSize", "medium"); so.addVariable("vAlign", "mid"); so.addVariable("vertOffset", "-29"); so.addVariable("colorHexVar", "EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("initialScale", "off"); so.addVariable("bgAlpha", "90"); so.write("PictoBrowser120123123819"); </script><p>Jesus Palafox, 21, came to the U.S. illegally when he was 11. He was the last member of his immediate family to make it across the border, posing as a son of a relative who was an American citizen.<br> <br> Palafox knew he wanted to attend college, but as he grew older, he realized he’d face a monumental challenge: In Illinois undocumented students can pay in-state tuition at public universities, but they’re ineligible for most student loans. Meanwhile, the number of affordable alternatives is dwindling. One option, Chicago’s City Colleges, may soon be out of reach if the city ends open admission, <a href="../../../../../../story/news/education/cutting-open-admission-city-colleges-draws-fire">as was proposed last summer</a>.<br> <br> Some of these concerns would have been partially addressed by the federal <a href="http://dreamact.info/students">DREAM Act</a>, co-sponsored by Democratic Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. The proposed law offered a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who, like Palafox, enrolled in college. The measure was filibustered in the U.S. Senate last year.<br> <br> Palafox was lucky; ultimately he made it to college by cobbling together several sources of funding, including a $2,500 award from former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. Palafox earned the award for having racked up the second-most service learning hours of any CPS student in his graduating class.<br> <br> Now that Palafox is set to graduate from Northeastern Illinois University, he wants the new mayor and city council to make the dream of a college education a reality for other undocumented students, especially ones who may not be as lucky as he was.<br> <br> <em>Dear Chicago</em> is a project of WEBZ’s <a href="http://chicagopublicmedia.org/partnerships/our-partners">Partnerships Program</a>. Jesus Palafox was nominated for the series by the <a href="http://afsc.org/">American Friends Service Committee</a>.<br> <br> <em>Dear Chicago -<br> <br> I want to tell you my story about being an undocumented student.<br> <br> The beginning was hard. I didn’t know any English. The only thing I was good at was math, because math doesn’t have a language.I even had to help some of my fellow classmates because they were behind on math.<br> <br> I knew from the beginning I wasn’t going to be able to afford college. My dad wasn’t making enough. So we started going to visit technical schools, but I realized I wasn’t even going to be able to pay $10,000 a year, so even the technical schools were too expensive.<br> <br> The counselors at my high school were not prepared to help me. I let them know my situation but they told me to either go to a City College or not go to college at all. I didn’t see the City Colleges as an option for me at that time. I wanted to go to a four year university.<br> <br> I started looking for scholarships, trying to find ones for undocumented students. I was doing a lot of research on my own, sending letters to different organizations, visiting chambers of commerce. I would lock myself in my room and just cry, thinking I wasn’t going to be able to make it. I was getting some acceptance letters but I didn’t have any money.<br> <br> Then I started getting more scholarships and getting into more universities. I decided to go to Northeastern because it was affordable. I think my first year I paid $7,000. UIC was a little more expensive. I also got accepted by Valparaiso University. There I got accepted as an international student and offered a scholarship for $30,000 for four years. But tuition was $30,000 a year and I couldn’t pay the rest.<br> <br> My first year at Northeastern I got about $12,000 in scholarships, but it was year to year. I didn’t know if I would have the money to pay for the next year.<br> <br> One of the reasons I wanted to go to college was to set an example for my younger siblings. My sister is graduating from high school this year and she knows that she has to go to college because I already did it. I will do everything to help her. But we’re going through a recession and my dad didn’t work for six moths, so we’re just recovering right now, and my sister graduates in three months. I know she’s going to get accepted to colleges but it’s going to be tough financially.<br> <br> I think there are a couple of things I would say to the new mayor and city council.<br> First of all, reform the public school system. A lot of undocumented students drop out. They don’t feel welcome in the schools and they know it’s going to be hard for them to go to college because of their status.<br> <br> Next, set up some kind of scholarship or grant for them. I know that they talk about having a local version of the DREAM Act that would let students have loans, but I think what we need are scholarships and grants, and not just for students with a 4.0 GPA. We hear about the valedictorian, but we don’t hear about the regular undocumented students.<br> <br> Then, keep open enrollment in the City Colleges. The reality is that a lot of undocumented students are not prepared to go to a four-year university.<br> <br> We’ve talked about Chicago being a world class city. I think that a world class city needs a world class citizenship. We should allow not just a citizen but also an undocumented person to be part of this. If we want to compete in the world, as Mayor Daley says every day, then we want to have a citizenship that can compete in the world. We need people prepared to compete, and not just U.S. citizens, but every resident of the city.</em><br> <br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 07 Mar 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/american-friends-service-committee/dear-chicago-help-us-go-college