Amnesty Advocates Help Illegal Immigrants Get College Scholarships While 44.7 Million Americans Saddled with Student Debt

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 03: A graduating student's cap declares their future intentions during
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A growing movement of progressives is helping illegal immigrants get into college and white-collar jobs, giving them an advantage over many young Americans who are struggling to get into good colleges and to pay their college tuition and student loan debt.

The movement shows itself proudly and openly online.

One of those websites, Top Ten Online Colleges, features a list of 25 of these scholarships:

Scholarships for undocumented students will fund the “American Dream” for foreign-born nationals who entered the U.S. without inspection or authorization. Most qualify for college under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy because they’ve entered the country before their 16th birthday.

Educators for Fair Consideration estimates that there are 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., including 1.1 million youth under age 18. Pew Research indicates that undocumented immigrants represent 5 percent of America’s total civilian workforce at 8 million. Most are originally from Mexico, but others come from Central America, Asia, South America, and even Europe. For instance, the estimated 50,000 Irish immigrants living undocumented nationwide break the notorious stereotype. Yet only around 7,000 of the U.S. undocumented population is enrolled in higher education.

Contrast these sentiments about illegal immigrants getting help with higher education to American citizens students who are saddled with debt.

“It’s 2019, and Americans are more burdened by student loan debt than ever,” the well-sourced Student Loan Hero website says.

• Among the Class of 2018, 69 percent of college students took out student loans, and they graduated with an average debt of $29,800, including both private and federal debt. 

• Americans owe over $1.56 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 45 million borrowers. That’s about $521 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt.

• Average monthly student loan payment (among those not in deferment): $393

• 65% of seniors graduating from public and nonprofit colleges in 2017 had student loan debt.

• Average debt at graduation from public and nonprofit colleges was $28,650 in 2017, a 1% increase from 2016.

Meanwhile, 25 groups are helping illegal immigrant young people pay for college. Here is a sampling of some of the opportunities this group of youth is offered in the United States:

“The Ascend Educational Fund (AEF) gifts multiple scholarships worth $2,500 to $20,000 to support immigrants, including undocumented students, who are graduating seniors in the New York City School District. Eligible non-U.S. citizens must have two parents born outside the country, reside in one of the NYC boroughs, gain full-time admission at any accredited college, achieve a minimum 2.5-grade point average, and exhibit resourcefulness and perseverance against adversity.”

“Offering an $8,400 stipend, the Deferred Action San Francisco Fellowship gives undocumented immigrant youth the valuable opportunity to work 20 hours per week with a local public or nonprofit organization from June through December. Qualified fellows must hold a high school diploma or GED, pursue a four-year university degree in San Francisco, and exhibit commitment to social justice. Preference is given for bilingual skills in Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.”

“The Golden Door Scholars Program will award full, four-year tuition coverage for up to 50 undocumented immigrants who qualify for DACA or TPS each year. Recipients choose from 16 partnering schools like Emory University, Tufts University, Meredith College, Wake Forest University, and Queens University of Charlotte for their first bachelor’s degree. Ideal applicants will live in states that don’t allow in-state tuition for DACA status, maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, and have held community leadership positions.”

“Nicknamed the “Pell Grant for DREAMers,” the National Dream.US Scholarship Award offers undocumented youth up to $12,500 for associate and $25,000 for bachelor’s degrees at partnering colleges each Spring. Eligible schools include National Louis University, Delaware State University, Florida International University, Western Oregon University, and more. Recipients must continue full-time enrollment for 12+ credits per term while carrying a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.”

“Since 2009, the Chicano Organizing & Research in Education (CORE) has delivered more than $92,000 through the Que Llueva Cafe Scholarship Program to financially bolster undocumented immigrants studying in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. To qualify, candidates must be of Chicano or Latino descent, be high school or GED graduates, enroll for the first time at an accredited two- or four-year college, display academic promise, and respond to a writing prompt with 1,000 words maximum.”

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