Rutgers University, the flagship state university of New Jersey, will be hosting what appears to be the first ever college admissions fair designed exclusively for illegal immigrants.
The event, dubbed “UndocuRutgers,” will be held this Saturday, and will feature admissions representatives from Rutgers as well as several local colleges. According to NJ.com, it will also have representatives from Rutgers School of Law-Newark, who will offer tips on how prospective students can apply for federal deferrals on deportation and other legal issues. Participants will also receive help typical for college fairs, such as advice on how to pay for school (illegal immigrants are ineligible for federal loans).
In 2013, New Jersey joined several other states in implementing “Dream Act” legislation that allows illegal immigrants to benefit from in-state tuition at state colleges, as long as they can show they’ve applied to have their status normalized. The Pew Research Center estimates that New Jersey has about 550,000 illegal immigrants. That’s 5.8 percent of the population, behind only Nevada, California and Texas.
Giancarlo Tello, a Rutgers student activist, told NJ.com that he suggested the college fair to administrators after noticing that many of his illegal immigrant friends were unsure of how to apply for college.
“How do you fill out an application if you don’t have a Social Security number?” Tello asked rhetorically.
The online notice for the event helpfully notes that “any information provided on the registration website will remain confidential and will not be shared with any other organization or agency, both private or governmental [sic].”
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