Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation last week that opens financial aid in the state to “dreamers,” the undocumented immigrants brought here as children, a bill for which Connecticut Conference leaders had lobbied.
Under the bill, undocumented students across the state who attend public colleges and universities will be eligible to apply for the financial aid that the state's public colleges set aside to provide need- and merit-based financial aid. It does not give them access to taxpayer-funded aid.
"All students, including undocumented immigrant students, pay into the institutional aid pool, but undocumented students did not have access to this aid," said CTUCC Legislative Advocate Michele Mudrick. "This is wrong. We are glad justice has been served and now undocumented students can be eligible for this aid."
Mudrick had submitted testimony
in support of the bill, along with a letter signed by over 200 CTUCC clergy
who spoke out in favor of reinstating the the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and who called for a commitment to write and pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year.
In January, the First Church of Hartford hosted an organizational meeting for UCC folks wanting to work on the issues surrounding immigration. Since then, a number of UCC clergy and lay leaders around the state have been getting involved in related advocacy.
Find out more about CTUCC's advocacy work at: www.ctucc.org/economicjustice