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International students deserve right to speedy citizenship

By Pooja Kumbhar

It is the tragic fate of many young people illegally brought to the country by their parents to suffer a voiceless life of no rights. It is not they, but their parents, who choose to illegally settle in the United States.

The children grow up with American culture and abide by U.S. laws their whole lives. How, then, is it fair to deny them the rights this country has to offer? America is a welcoming nation that claims to know equality and justice. So why do we fail to recognize the absence of freedom in second-generation immigrants' lives?

A common worry for international students at Hofstra is their shared stress over the school's high tuition. Hofstra has a lot of great courses and opportunities that it offers to its students; it's a good place to have a good start. Many of these visiting students dream of becoming successful journalists, doctors, and entrepreneurs, and like most American students, live in the fear of one day not being able to make it through with the little money in their pockets.

However, these international students are ineligible for federal aid or private loans. If they are able to afford further education, a degree will still land them no place for a job, as they may have no social security number.

The American-educated, potential social visionaries and great reformers of our nation will really just be stamped upon and barricaded inside a cage of red tape, refrained from contributing to the goodness of the very own country of which they are part.

In 2008, Obama had promised the country and his eager Hispanic supporters to do all he can to provide conditional residency to certain illegal aliens of good moral character, who graduated from U.S. high schools, arrived here as minors and had previously lived in the country for more than 5 years before the enactment of the bill. To this day, this right is still being fought for.

Just like other students in America, alien minors go through schooling from a very young age to the completion of high school. Difficulties come from the limitations after high school. All they can do beyond high school is work a nine-to-five job at their local grocery store -- oh wait, they can't. They don't have work papers. So, they sometimes have no choice but to work at fast food chains, off the books.

Regardless of their time spent in America, these children and the international students at Hofstra are rightful members of this country no matter what and deserve the same rights as every other American-born citizen.

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