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CT "Dreamers" fighting to access financial aid

Connecticut "Dreamers" were at the state capitol on Tuesday fighting to access financial aid for a college education....

Posted: Feb. 14, 2018 9:47 AM
Updated: Feb. 14, 2018 9:47 AM

Connecticut "Dreamers" were at the state capitol on Tuesday fighting to access financial aid for a college education.

These undocumented students are asking lawmakers to allow them to access institutional or financial aid, which is set side by the college and all students pay into.

Immigration reform is a hot topic, and as for Dreamers, they say they are only asking for what they feel is fair.

"Many people think we are asking for a handout, but in reality, we are only asking for that opportunity to access that pool of money," said Jonathan Gonsalez Cruz, and undocumented student.

Cruz has always wanted to go to college and this spring he will graduate from Southern Connecticut State University with honors.

Most of the undocumented students are young adults who came to this country when they were children. Their tuition includes paying for financial aid, yet they are not allowed to access that aid.

UConn and the state university system gets about $60 million from these "Dreamers." Now, they are asking state lawmakers to level the playing field.

"It's a no-brainer, it's common sense, it's fair policy, there's an unjustness. We have an inherent chance to fix at no cost to the state," said Carlos Moreno from CT Working Families Party.

The President of the Connecticut State Colleges and University System supports these students and feels the national debate on immigration may be working against them.

"It's unfair the students are getting caught up in the partisan politics now in our nation's Capital," said Mark Ojakian, President of CSCU.

"some will say Dreamers just want money and for the rest of us to fund their education, but to them I say we are not asking for money that we have not already paid to a university system," said Michael Hernandez, a college student.

A bill that would allow dreams to access financial aid is now being considered by the Legislature's Committee on Higher Education.

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