Undocumented students speak at ‘Coming out of Shadows’ rally

Undocumentd & Unafraid rally

UIC students rally in the Quad April 7 to highlight the stories of undocumented students and celebrate diversity. Photo: Joseph Horejs

 

Students gathered in the Quad April 7 to share stories of growing up undocumented in America.

Some held handmade signs to share how they felt at the “Coming Out of the Shadows” rally, hosted by UIC’s Fearless Undocumented Alliance student organization. The rally has been held each spring since 2010 to highlight the stories of undocumented students, celebrate diversity on campus and foster a welcoming environment for all students.

The crowd chanted “Undocumented” and “Unafraid.”

“All humans have a right to be safe,” said Rosa Cabrera, director of the Latino Cultural Center. “It’s amazing to hear their stories.”

The group is asking for more support for undocumented students. Fearless Undocumented Alliance student leaders addressed the university Board of Trustees in July, requesting scholarships and financial aid for undocumented students. They are also lobbying for House Bill 3528, which would allow all Illinois student residents who meet certain requirements — such as graduating from an Illinois high school — to access student aid funded by the state. Students who are not citizens or permanent residents would provide the university an affidavit stating their intent to become a permanent resident of the U.S. when they are eligible.

“We are taking action on campus and legislatively. I am really proud and touched by all the stories shared,” said Jocelyn Munguia, a junior in psychology and co-founder of Fearless Undocumented Alliance.

“I don’t look at people based on their status,” said Natalie Cruz, a senior in marketing and president of Fearless Undocumented Alliance. “It’s cool to hear their stories.”

For more information about the group, visit their Facebook page.