These Graduation Photos of Undocumented Students Will Give You Hope
“My papi told me he’d cut his arm off before I dropped out...Today I graduated and he's why."
They confronted myriad challenges to do so, but hundreds of undocumented students across the country graduated college this weekend — with more still to do so. And to highlight their accomplishments, many are posting their graduation photos on social media.
Online, the hashtag #undocugrad trended on Twitter and Instagram as undocumented students expressed pride in obtaining their degrees.
“When my school discovered I was undocumented, my scholarship & in-state tuition were taken away,” one Twitter user, camila, wrote. “I told my papi that I was going to drop out & work instead. My papi told me he’d cut his arm off before I dropped out. We made it work. Today I graduated & he’s why.”
When my school discovered I was undocumented, my scholarship & in-state tuition were taken away. I told my papi that I was going to drop out & work instead. My papi told me he’d cut his arm off before I dropped out. We made it work. Today I graduated & he’s why. #undocugradpic.twitter.com/RwDuOe5xaF— camila 🦋 (@camilaronipizza) May 5, 2018
“This degree is OURS,” another wrote. “Papi worked very hard to help me pay for my education. Mami was always there to remind me that I could do it. They both sacrificed a lot by leaving everything behind so I could have a future.”
This degree is OURS. Papi worked very hard to help me pay for my education. Mami was always there to remind me that I could do it. They both sacrificed a lot by leaving everything behind so I could have a future. ♥️🦋🇺🇸🇲🇽 #UndocuGrad#HereToStay#DREAMer#DACAmentedpic.twitter.com/LFbQhiAmLi— Sandra 🌻 (@xo_svndrv) May 5, 2018
According to statistics from the nonprofit Educators for Fair Consideration, an estimated 10,000 undocumented immigrants graduated from college in 2017 — many of whom benefited from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that President Donald Trump has vowed to eliminate.
The Migration Policy Institute, an independent think-tank, estimated that there currently 241,000 undocumented immigrants enrolled in college.
Even for those who do attend college, undocumented students have been shown to suffer from significantly higher levels of anxiety, isolation, and discrimination than their peers.
Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and access to quality education is goal number four. You can join us and call on congress to support the Global Partnership for Education here.
But the brave students who have joined the #undocugrad are showing that education can be attained, even when confronted with the most challenging of circumstances. Here are some of the most powerful posts:
I see the #undocugrad and I’ve never been happier ! As a former undocumented member of society I know how hard it is. I couldn’t even start school because I wasnt able to get instate tuition or financial Aid. But at 24 I did it ! Im ready to steal your job. pic.twitter.com/AL2ObpyNch— A High :-) (@_isha240) May 5, 2018
Everything I do, I do it for you. This degree is for the young woman who had to give up her studies to raise a family. It couldn’t have been possible without the support of mi familia. #UndocuGrad#ImmiGrad#DACAGrad#SiSePudo#GradSchoolNextpic.twitter.com/7HwXacjEO6— Will P (@_WILLEXE_) May 6, 2018