Undocumented Immigrants have to put their Career Goals on Hold

Photo Credit: Allen Lee

Undocumented students feel happiness and excitement when they graduate from college because they have accomplished what many people think is impossible. Yet, what comes next for these undocumented students? What can they look forward to if they are not legal residents of the United States?

Many undocumented students work hard to graduate from college, but unfortunately cannot obtain a job because of their legal status. After graduating, these undocumented students feel that their academic efforts were pointless because they do not have access to the benefits of a college degree. There are many undocumented students who want to pursue careers in law and in medicine, but cannot manage to get their license for such practices. It is unfortunate that undocumented students who were raised in the United States from a very young age and received an American education cannot pursue the American Dream in the working world. Since Obama passed his Deferred Action Plan, these undocumented immigrants now have hope for the opportunity to become lawyers or doctors. This plan would help people like Jose Godinez-Samperio from Florida, who has been fighting to get his law license, despite his undocumented status.  Godinez-Samperio and many other undocumented students have “done everything [they are] supposed to do. [They have] complied with every rule,” but still are not allowed to work after college because they are undocumented immigrants.

At this point, the only hope for undocumented students is the Deferred Action Plan. However, what would happen to the millions of undocumented students who have applied to this program if Mitt Romney became President? Jose Godinez-Samperio says that “the election might decide his future” and the futures of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Romney has made it clear that he does not support the Deferred Action Plan, and if elected he would not put this program in place, thus denying undocumented students their rights to a higher education and career opportunities. Do you think we should stop undocumented students from fulfilling their career dreams, if all they really want is a career and economic success?

3 responses to “Undocumented Immigrants have to put their Career Goals on Hold

  1. This is one of the many situations in which the law and social justice do not align. I think that is really unfortunate that these students are unable to put the education that they have spent so much time, energy, and money getting. The world can always use great civil servants, no matter their legal status. However, I do wonder how these students made it through the education system with out running into previous problems that would have forced them to confront their legal status. I think that something like the deferred action plan is a good place to start and I hope that even if Romney is elected he will still consider other options for these students.

  2. I agree with Saybin’s comments. It’s ironic that the United States asks for assimilation yet does not fully prepare for situations where undocumented immigrants, who culturally identify themselves as American, comply with expectations and complete their higher education studies.

  3. It’s a travesty that undocumented students with the motivation and aspirations to finish college cannot move forward post-graduation. Much like the glass-ceiling metaphor that has been articulated in the recent presidential debates regarding women’s rights issues, this metaphor can also apply to the graduating undocumented students. Their future can be bright, only the documents are holding them back. I think that it’s imperative that the next president acknowledges the kinds of contributions that these students can bring to society and recognize that their legal status would benefit not only the individual but the United States.

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