Illinois has continually opened its arms to immigrants, even though the government has grown increasingly strict on the immigrant population. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has gone out of her way to express her point of view on this topic. One thing that has become a worry within the immigrant population is education.
Secondary education is difficult to pay for. America’s national debt has skyrocketed within the last decade. Students are struggling to go to college because they don’t know how they can pay for it. Undocumented students are in more trouble than documented students. Undocumented students are oftentimes left without a choice to attend college because of their citizen status.
How can undocumented students safely get financial aid?
As of June in 2019, Gov. Pritzker signed a law with hopes to give immigrants an equal chance to continue their education. This law wants to give undocumented students the opportunity to afford college without having ICE knock on their door.
Like most students in the U.S., financial aid is needed to even think about attending a college. Many undocumented students are fearful of sharing their personal information to get financial aid because it can alert the federal government of their status. This leads these students to avoid FAFSA or federal aid of any kind when applying for colleges.
What will this law do for these students?
Illinois is determined to give every student an equal opportunity. This law will help undocumented students attend in-state colleges. It drops the rule that all students must complete FAFSA before acceptance and doesn’t allow questions about immigrant status. This way, the students can attend college as any other student would. To qualify for aid, students must be an Illinois resident.
Illinois’ goal is to create an equal environment that allows opportunity without trading safety. Most of the students have received education their whole lives. Illinois does not want that to change because of the concerns the paperwork brings. Fear should not dictate your future and this law aims to make sure it won’t.