Texas Immigrant Youth Respond to Legislative Attacks on Educational Equity

Chris Valdez Press Releases

“Texas is our home. In-state tuition has worked for over 17 years,
and we will continue to fight for it, because we are Here To Stay!”

For Immediate Release
Contact: Chris Valdez | chris@unitedwedream.org | 713-352-8197

Austin, TX – Yesterday, news broke of a Texas House Bill filing that would kill eligibility for in-state tuition for undocumented students at public universities in Texas. Immigrant youth, and long-time defenders of in-state tuition for undocumented students responded.

Valeria Serna, Texas State University freshman, DACA recipient, and leader with United We Dream in Austin said,

“I’ve worked hard to get where I am today, and getting into Texas State was a major milestone for me. Pursuing college might not be a reality for me if I was forced to pay out-of-state tuition prices—that’s more than double what other Texas students like me pay. This is yet another racist attack on Texas immigrants. I would have hoped that legislators would have realized by now that Texans don’t stand for racists, and immigrants are here to stay.”

Julieta Garibay, Texas director and co-founder of United We Dream said,

“I remember when access to in-state tuition became reality in Texas. I was one of the first generation of undocumented youth to graduate with in-state tuition at the University of Texas in Austin.

“In-state tuition brought some equity to the Texas public education system, and it meant that undocumented students across the state had a better shot at affording college. That victory, along with other immigrant youth-won victories like DACA, have been life-changing for immigrant families.

“For years, Texas legislators have chosen to terrorize undocumented youth with threats of taking away our access to higher education. Immigrant youth are no strangers to these attacks, and know how to handle racists when we see them. We do not back down, and we have, and always will, fight to defend our community.”

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United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.