“We are talking about capable US citizens who are born here, who are just stuck,” Father Dominguez says.
“A number of them would like to go to college and don’t know if they would be able to afford it,” he says.
“Immigration status is a big obstacle for capable students who can’t access the university system,” he adds.
Obama’s young-immigrant amnesty program does not override the patchwork of in-state tuition policies. Currently, 14 states allow students who meet requirements to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges regardless of their immigration status, according to Tanya Broder, senior attorney in Oakland, California for the National Immigration Law Center.
Meg Carroll, a former Manassas police officer who speaks Spanish and is now the manager for the Georgetown South community council, says Latinos understand the value of education.
The parents cannot manage the language or the daily decisions required to navigate the schools. This year she started a tutoring program. After putting up a few flyers, 50 parents showed up with their children on the first night.
“They hate being not able to help their children” due to language barriers, says Carroll, who plans to double and maybe even triple the number of tutors involved.
“They come here saying, ‘We want our children to succeed. We just can’t help them,’” she says.