Education policy makers in Georgia are attempting to prevent undocumented youth from accessing higher education in this country. The Georgia House introduced Bill 59, a bill that would essentially restrict eligible immigrant youth from applying to some of the top schools in the state.
“The Georgia 7” are a group of undocumented students who came out publicly as undocumented people on April 5th and were arrested and briefly detained for exercising their right to civil disobedience during an action on the Georgia State University campus. The young activists gathered from different states and blocked traffic, representing the barriers they personally face in trying to access opportunities in higher education. The protesters came from similar backgrounds and had the same struggles, many of them were brought to the U.S. at a young age, did well in school, and are academically-eligible to go to college. Currently the ban forces the top five schools in Georgia to prohibit undocumented students from applying because of their legal status.
Viridiana Martinez is one of the “Georgia 7” and stated at the rally, “My community is under attack by legislation that strips people of their humanity, and our human right to education.” Viridiana represents the thousands of young students who are undocumented and denied access to higher education because they lack a nine-digit number. These bans on higher education serve to reinforce inhumane immigration policies that do not reflect a comprehensive framework and further subordinate the immigrant community into the shadows. These policies reduce a person to their legal status and take away their humanity by denying them the most basic right to an education. In regards to those that were released yesterday, it is unclear what will happen next.
Unfortunately, these anti-immigrant legislative proposals seem to be gaining more momentum and the introduction of Arizona”SB 1070″ type bills are currently underway in states like Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama.
To take action, sign the petition to take a stand against the Georgia ban! The undocumented youth movement continue to empower themselves through organized actions and fearless determination so please be sure to check out: www.thedreamiscoming.com and www.dreamactivist.org. Also for more updates, you can follow DREAM activists on twitter @DREAMAct.