Don't Comply with the Ban
Undocumented youth across the nation are tired of waiting, over the course of the last few years we have been under constant attack. It is our responsiblity, as undocumented youth, to stand up and speak out.
We can no longer remain afraid. We are undocumented and unafraid and we are not going to silently demand our rights.
On April 5th, eight of us will take a stand in Atlanta, Georgia. We will demand nothing less than equal access to education. If you believe in what we belive, if you will stand in solidarity with us then sign this petition.
Dulce, David, Andrea, Dayanna, Maria, Georgina, Viridina and Jose Rico.
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Access to education has been an ongoing battle for undocumented youth. Plyler v. Doe (1982), a United States Supreme Court decision, guaranteed access to K-12 education for all youth, regardless of legal status. The decision, however, did not go so far as to defend access to higher education for undocumented youth.
In the last few years, with the absence of federal legislation legalizing immigrants, many states have taken it upon themselves to put into place attrition efforts banning undocumented youth from access to college. In October 2010, Georgia joined the list of states with such laws; the Board of Regents of the State approved new rules explicitly barring undocumented youth from admission into many academic public institutions.
The newly adopted measures require any institution that has not admitted all academically qualified applicants in the previous two years to deny admission to, otherwise qualified, undocumented youth. The ban, which will go into effect in the fall of 2011, applies to the top 5 public institutions, including University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Medical College of Georgia and Georgia College & State University.
We, the undersigned, present this letter to ask the addresses, leaders of the nation’s academic community, to refuse to comply with the bans on education.
We recognize the historical significance of these institutions; in Georgia, these universities were not integrated until 1961, the result of a long-fought struggle for freedom and racial equality. Today, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and other states have explicit bans on undocumented immigrants from attending universities once forbidden to African Americans.
Following the traditions of the student movement before us, we believe those most affected by unjust laws, with the support of strong, conscientious allies, are responsible for changing them.
Over sixty-five thousand undocumented youth graduate high school every year. As children growing up in the United States, they are taught that is the quintessential vehicle for overcoming a life lived in the shadows.
We hold that you have a moral obligation and American duty to ensure that all those who seek access to education are given that opportunity. By actively denouncing the ban, you side with justice and the principles of this great nation. Education is a core foundation of this country. The 35th President John F. Kennedy once declared, “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.” Will you adhere to this American convention?
We demand that you set a national precedent. As leaders of prominent academic institutions, please refuse to comply with the ban on access to education. We hope you support education for all, regardless of immigration status.
Lastly, we will not wait for our allies to take action. Rather, we will take it upon ourselves to defend our communities. We are prepared to do all that is necessary to ensure that undocumented youth, too, have equal access to all public institutions of learning.