Dreamers of University of Wisconsin-Madison announced Monday that they and some UW students are proposing a bill in support of tuition equity for undocumented and DACA students.
The Dreamers of University of Wisconsin-Madison presented the bill to the Associated Students of Madison at their Wednesday meeting and the bill passed unanimously, signaling ASM’s support for the effort.
The bill is an attempt to help Wisconsin undocumented and DACA students qualify for in-state tuition rates, and includes a call to action for other Student Senates within the UW System to also take a stance of active support for tuition equity.
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The bill originally began as a group project for students in the School of Social Work, Dreamers of UW-Madison Vice President Angelica Itzel Contreras said.
Dreamers of Wisconsin Director and UW graduate student Cristhabel Martinez was one of these students. She has helped make the group’s work a reality by helping author the bill, Martinez said.
“Undocumented and DACA students in Wisconsin are charged with out-of-state tuition rates, so when it comes to tuition equity we’re trying to provide an equal playing field,” Martinez said.
While the bill’s main goal is tuition equity, there are many other ways to help undocumented and DACA students, Martinez said. For example, UW can provide training for staff and faculty on how to create a safer space for undocumented and DACA students, as well as how to point them in the right direction for resources, Martinez said.
Dreamers of Wisconsin haven’t been waiting for change to happen — they have been gifting scholarships to undocumented and DACA students through their own fundraising, Martinez said.
“Undocumented students aren’t just at UW-Madison, they’re across Wisconsin. So essentially we’re making a collective effort to bring awareness to the issue again,” Martinez said.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated April 15 at 9:20 p.m. to correct the name of the organization in the headline.