Undocumented Students Fight for Equal Access to Institutional Aid
Undocumented students at the University of Connecticut are fighting for equal access to institutional aid and facing what they say is national ignorance, statewide unfairness and a local lack of information.
Eric Cruz López went to Washington D.C. to get arrested.
López, a fourth-semester biomedical engineering major at UConn, traveled to Washington D.C. to protest what he and other undocumented UConn students call ignorance and unfairness. López emigrated from Mexico when he was 7 years old. He remains undocumented because there is no pathway to citizenship for people who come to the U.S. without documentation.
López was able to attain “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or “DACA,” an executive action ordered by President Barack Obama, allowing him temporary status since he came to the U.S. as a child. This does not mean permanent residency.
In late February, López journeyed to the White House to engage in a civil disobedience action protesting the Obama administration’s raids – conducted by the Department of Homeland Security – of undocumented immigrants and refugees, the majority of whom were unaccompanied minors and women from Central America, although some Mexican families were caught up in the raids since they were in the targeted areas of the raids.
121 people were detained in January during these searches, according to Salon magazine.
“They’re afraid that they might die if they stay,” López said of the refugees and immigrants. “What place is safe?”