Immigrant student’s arrest jeopardizes college financial aid legislation

(WTNH)–One former University of Connecticut student who has been lobbying at the capital, asking for college financial aid for undocumented students, has just been arrested. Police say after a six month investigation, Eric Cruz-Lopes admitted to tagging the UConn campus with anti-Trump graffiti.

Two weeks ago, undocumented students made their way into the office of the Speaker of the House, among them one of the leaders of the organization, Cruz-Lopes.

Police have been investigating Cruz-Lopes for nearly six months and say he confessed to writing F-Trump and other graffiti on the student union, the student library, and the student dining hall.

He has been charged with 103 counts of vandalism, with a total damage of nearly $5,000 to the campus. Sen Martin Looney (D- New Haven) says the actions of one should not change the outcome for the entire group of undocumented students.

“The poor decisions of one student should not become an excuse for people to paint all of these hard-working deserving young people with that same brush,” Looney said.

The financial aid bill gives undocumented students a chance to apply for $165 million in student aid. That bill has now lost a significant amount of support and most likely will not even make it to the floor for a vote.

Lawmaker Dave Yaccarino (R-North Haven) says breaking the law, no matter how deep your feelings run, is not acceptable.

“It is contradicting to that, they want the right of freedom and they have those freedoms but then to denigrate somebody’s name, no matter if you like the person or not, to me that is unacceptable.”

The arrest of Eric Cruze-Lopes has set the movement back a little bit. We talked to Carolina Bortolleto with “ CT Students For A Dream,” and she says it’s not about one student, but about all of the undocumented students coming together for financial aid.

“We are first fighting for the legislature to pass it, we want them to stop playing games and have a bill being called up for a vote.”

On Wednesday, “CT Students For A Dream” will have a news conference asking lawmakers to please continue to move this forward.

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