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Latino Daily News

Monday June 9, 2014

North Carolina DREAM Student Make Plea for In-State College Tuition Rates

A group of North Carolina youths set out Monday to walk 140 miles to call attention to the need to make university enrollment affordable for the state’s DREAMers.

Elver Barrios, Jessica Contreras and Mary Jose Espinosa, of the United 4 The Dream group, left Monday from Charlotte on their way to Raleigh, the state capital.

“I do this to make young people understand they can’t continue their studies because of the high cost of university enrollment, which we will keep fighting to have changed by the General Assembly, and so they don’t just give up,” Contreras, 19, told Efe.

She has just graduated from high school and will be able to attend a community college with a great deal of effort, since for several months she has sold tamales to be able to pay for her first semester of studies.

At present, undocumented students, including those protected by the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, must pay the tuition of out-of-state residents, which is more than twice the amount local students pay.

“We hope state legislators in Raleigh understand the importance of letting us attend university. The state has invested in our basic education and it would be most beneficial to have us complete our training,” Espinosa said.

Over the past few years these young people have mounted several campaigns supporting education equality.

The youths planned to finish their trek on June 7, when they would join other groups at the “UndocuGraduation” event in Raleigh, where the DREAMers were also to visit the offices of state lawmakers.

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