(WTNH)–Armed with petitions and dressed in their caps and gowns, undocumented students fighting for equal access to financial aid marched right into the state capitol on Tuesday afternoon.
“I am undocumented, I recently graduated from Naugatuck Valley Community College, and I am pursuing a degree in psychology,” said Angelica Idrovo of Naugatuck.
They each had a story of how they were brought to the U.S. Parents brought Yeni Marcortes to America looking for a better life when she was 2 years old. She grew up in New Haven and is currently going to Southern Connecticut State University.
“The undocumented community has been living in fear their whole life. It’s hard to imagine waking up every day and not knowing if you are secure, or if you’re going to go home to your parents to your sisters. So there’s definitely a constant fear,” Marcotes said.
They handed lawmakers a petition with more than 2,000 signatures asking them to put forward a bill to the House floor that would give undocumented students access to financial aid.
“That fear comes with us gaining power gaining strength. That is why we are here, there are so many of us here fighting for educational equity for undocumented students,” Marcotes said.
Lawmakers heard their concerns and talked to them about their struggles. Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz said they would do what they could.
“We hear the stories of these young individuals or working really hard and trying to make better lives for themselves and their family, that is the American dream, so we want to help,” Aresimowicz said. “It’s just a matter of what we can do to help, and we will figure that out.”