SA supports act for scholarship funds

By Ali Qazi

The Student Association Senate has announced its support of the RISE Act, which will provide an amazing opportunity to students who aren’t able to support themselves throughout college, including undocumented immigrants.

Students who are unable to receive financial aid because of documentation status and other reasons are now able to apply for aid thanks to the RISE Act being introduced. Undocumented students are not usually eligible for state or federal financial aid, but this act changes that.

The U.S. has a process that allows immigrants to apply for a visa and, depending on the visa they are accepted for, they can study at a university. Applying for a visa isn’t always as simple as it should be, but SA’s support for the RISE Act has made pursuing higher education more possible.

It is unfair to deny undocumented immigrants a chance at higher education when many did not make the choice to be undocumented — rather, it was their parents who made that choice for them.

Even those who are legal citizens struggle to find support, and providing this act helps level the playing field for those young adults.

“I’ve been doing stuff the legal way over here, and I’m still struggling harder than people who are just taking advantage of the system,” Inshal Rajput, junior Operations Management and Information Services major, said.

It is unfair for undocumented immigrants to be required to jump through so many hoops in order to reap the benefits many other citizens can receive with ease. Many college students rely heavily on state financial aid, but if undocumented citizens can’t apply for that aid, they are left with no help.

“If everyone has to do everything by the rules, why is it different for [undocumented students]?” Alex Marie, junior communication studies major, said. “There are rules — just go through them.”

The American dream refers to the chance at higher education and a well-paying job, and that dream is big enough to share. This is why it is important for the SA Senate to support the RISE Act.

The RISE Act will not just include undocumented students, but also students who may have exhausted their financial aid as a result of enrolling in remedial courses at a junior college. Many students do this in an effort to help ease the transition to a university.

“[The] RISE Act included undocumented students because they aren’t able to receive funds,” Pablo Valencia Garcia, president of Dream Action, said. “It’s a matter of sitting down and talking about these misconceptions. Undocumented students have economic value to this country [by paying taxes] but won’t receive the benefits [like social security].”

Garcia said he wants to encourage anyone with comments or concerns about the act to get in contact with him at his office in the Campus Life Building. These undocumented students are just trying to get an education, and SA Senate’s support for the RISE Act has been instrumental in making this possible.