In his annual State of the State address, Gov. Dannel Malloy paints a picture of a “fair Connecticut” that does not currently exist for immigrant youth.

On the first day of the 2018 Legislative Session, … he noted that “Connecticut Fairness” means that Connecticut passed the Connecticut Dream Act to ensure equal access to higher education for immigrant students in our state.

We are disappointed in Gov. Malloy for criminalizing our immigrant parents by saying Connecticut does not “punish children for the actions of their parents.”  We cannot win progress for our state while playing into the narrative that only some in our community are deserving of dignity.

The fact remains that undocumented immigrant students in Connecticut do not have equal access to higher education because they don’t have any access to any institutional financial aid, making college impossible for most families. Institutional Aid is student-generated funds that colleges set aside from tuition revenue in order to be used as need-based aid to support students with financial need. It is funded by tuition dollars that all students pay, it’s not tax or state funded.

Undocumented immigrant students contribute to these funds by paying tuition, but DO NOT have access to the pool of aid they help fund. This in unjust. Until Connecticut corrects this injustice by passing legislation that equalizes access to institutional aid for all students regardless of their status – Connecticut does not and will not embody the “Connecticut Fairness” that Gov. Malloy spoke of so highly.

Camila Bortolleto is Campaign Manager for  Connecticut Students for a Dream

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