By Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2012

I’m an undocumented student who wants to be in the college classroom.

I’ve lived in Miami for 17 years and am attending Florida International University. But because I’m undocumented, my tuition is supposed to cost $1,239 more per class than a “regular” student.

My mom always stressed how vital an education is. I followed her advice. I graduated from high school with a 3.8 GPA and received a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship.

However, Florida revoked my scholarship because of my undocumented status, and I can’t afford the out-of-state tuition. I am also denied federal financial aid.

Some other students and I applied for a waiver from Florida International. If it doesn’t go through, we will be out of luck.

I’m by no means alone in this predicament. Only 5 percent of the 65,000 graduating undocumented high school seniors in the United States each year can go to college.

Undocumented students should not be charged higher tuition for college.

Our broken immigration system prevents undocumented youth from reaching their potential and categorizes us as second-class citizens.

Some argue in-state tuition should be for only tax-paying citizens, but many don’t realize that undocumented people pay taxes too. According to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented families paid an estimated $11.2 billion in taxes last year.

Thirteen states offer in-state tuition for undocumented students, and some colleges, like Florida International, sometimes grant in-state tuition waivers or help find private scholarships.

But most states and most colleges do not. They are wasting the talent of so many young people.

All we want is a chance. We want the same opportunities given to everyone else. We want the chance to better not only ourselves, but America too.

Nicolas Wulff is a 21-year-old undocumented student who has lived in Miami since the age of 5. He wants to major in international relations and economics at Florida International University. He can be reached at pmproj@progressive.org.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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