The Underground Railroad is Alive and well…

Even if the federal government fails to act, advocates for the DREAM Act have set their sights on other battlegrounds. State governments have stepped into the breach, debating whether undocumented students should receive in-state tuition, financial aid, or even admission to public universities. Meanwhile, the number of undocumented student has grown dramatically in states like California.

There is an underground network of staff that works on the issue and passes along information about particular students.

California is among the states that have passed legislation allowing undocumented students who are state residents to receive in-state tuition—a 2001 law that the California Supreme Court upheld last week in 2011. Even so, in-state tuition at any University of California… (Berkeley), for instance, is nearly $13,000 a year, and California’s budget crisis has forced the state’s public colleges and universities to impose fee hikes. “They’re working sometimes two or three jobs,” says Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education.

“They work as tutors, babysitters, housekeepers—various occupations in the underground economy.” Partly as a result of the new fee hikes, about 15 percent of UCLA’s undocumented student population has dropped out since January, he adds.

Interestingly here there is not a reason given for the alien’s status albeit passing grades, or money to attend. Therefore, what is the reliability or validity of this information?

Meanwhile, sympathetic college officials and student groups have tried to gain the trust of undocumented students, offering them financial planning advice and other support. The University of Southern California has helped compile an “undocumented student guide,” informing students that they aren’t required to provide social security numbers or proof of legal status—and to leave blanks on official university forms rather than providing false information (this is the beauty of a “private school”).

At UCLA, student activists have fought to allow undocumented students to apply for internships without having to show state or federal ID. They’ve also created housing co-ops and a food pantry to help undocumented and poor students meet their basic needs.

Campos is the co-chair of a UCLA student group that’s given scholarships to undocumented students who’ve been separated from their families because of deportation raids—some of whom are in deportation proceedings themselves. Such groups have also fueled the growth of a national grassroots movement that’s rallied behind the DREAM Act.

From our point of view what are these advocacy groups really doing? They have now become bigger law breakers and criminals than the “undocumented” students they are assisting.

Indeed one of the greatest problems that we have in this nation — that may end up being that proverbial “straw” that broke the camels back. Even if you don’t agree with a law do you go out and do it anyway? NO. The confessions and “bravado” taken by these individuals must, and we mean MUST show consequences.

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