House passes immigrant tuition bill after daylong debate

The Connecticut House of Representatives has given final legislative approval to a bill that allows immigrant students without legal status to be eligible for institutional financial aid at state-run colleges and universities.

DACA students feel welcome at ECSU

Because undocumented students aren’t required to disclose their status when they apply to college there’s no exact numbers on how many DACA students are at Eastern Connecticut State University but the school has been very welcoming to those students and it’s come from the top.

“They came when they were little. They speak fluent English. They are American people,” a passionate plea from ECSU president Dr. Elsa Nunez at a rally back in September.

“The best we can do at Eastern I think is to make sure that they understand that they are liberally educated,” Dr. Nunez told News8 Monday. “That means that they can think critically, they an write well, they can speak clearly, and that they can advocate for themselves.”

Laura Pineros is doing just that.

“I’m a criminology and sociology major with a minor in pre-law,” sain Pineros who is now a sophomore at Eastern.

She is among the more than 100 DACA students at the school which is among the Connecticut state colleges and universities along with UConn which have joined a national lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s plan to end the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals Program. DACA was designed to shield young undocumented students from deportation.

In Pineros’ home state of South Carolina she says she cannot attend a state college. She was brought to America from Columbia when she was 18 months old.

“It was my parents’ decision to better my future,” said Pineros. 

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