Picture an undocumented student, and the first image to pop up is unlikely to be an Asian one.The tuition subsidy to foreigners costs state taxpayers an estimated $117 million per year — a substantial sum even in profligate California.
Yet a recent report by the University of California Office of the President revealed that 40 to 44 percent of undocumented students in the UC system are Asian. This is definitely not "a Mexican thing," which is how one undocumented student characterized the Asian community's dismissive views towards undocumented immigration.
"People will ask you: 'Are you AB 540? Because obviously you are not Latina,'" explains Tam, a 24-year-old of Vietnamese descent who recently graduated from UCLA (the last names of the undocumented students in this article have been withheld to protect their identities). [Undocumented Asian Students Face Stigma, New America Media Oct. 14, 2008]
Incidentally, some private universities quietly award financial aid to illegal alien students, according to Inside Higher Ed (Oct 16): A Message to Prospective Undocumented Students.
High school counselors keep lists — short lists based on unofficial, one-on-one conversations about which colleges, mostly private ones, admit and grant institutional aid to illegal immigrants, says David Hawkins, director of public policy and research for the National Association for College Admission Counseling.