We're learning the hard way. This
edition of B-Side is about a group of people struggling to learn, to
make it in college. And we're not talking about the usual too many
units not enough time kind of trouble. These students are
undocumented immigrants – most brought here by their parents when
they were too young to have any say in the matter. And now they're
dealing with the consequences.
There are all kinds of difficulties
those of us who were born here would never even think about. Tam
Tran, a graduate student at Brown University in American Studies
helps us navigate the issue. Tam is undocumented.
Conflict in California: Jude
In California a law called AB 540
allows students who graduate from California high schools to pay
in-state tuition at state colleges. This in-state rate applies even
to students who are undocumented, which makes it controversial. Jude
Joffe-Block introduces us to people on both sides of the legal
The politicization of students: Martin
Martin takes us to Lighthouse charter school in downtown
Oakland where students have formed an organization to raise money to
help their fellow undocumented classmates who need funds for college.
Campus Support Services: Karen
Karen visits Cal State Long Beach where the university has a
program to train faculty and staff to help undocumented students.
Staff who complete the training get a sticker to put on their office
door that lets students know they can go to them with questions and
issues regarding their status.