Undocumented Students Walk From Charlotte to Raleigh - New York News

Undocumented Students Walk From Charlotte to Raleigh

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Charlotte, N.C. (WJZY) -- How many steps does it take to walk from the Queen City to our State Capitol?

A group of undocumented students, members of the Latin American Coalition, and a digital journalist with My Fox Carolinas are about to find out.

This Monday, the group will embark on a week-long march from Charlotte to Raleigh. What are they walking for? In-State tuition for undocumented students.

Currently, undocumented students have to pay out-of-state tuition to go to college. They also don't qualify for State or Federal financial aid.

This Friday, I talked to a couple of the people making the trek...and started getting ready.

I'm on the treadmill getting ready for a week-long walk with the Latin American Coalition. Why would anyone want to walk one week straight? I’ll let them answer that question.

“I want to walk because I graduated from West Meck in 2009," said Elver Barrios with the Latin American Coalition.

"I graduated without knowing what i was going to do with my life," said Elver.

“Every year, a lot of students graduate and don’t have the opportunity to go to college because we have to pay out-of-state tuition,” said Jessica Contreras, a high school senior.

“I was accepted to many colleges, but couldn’t go because I had to pay out-of-state tuition, couldn’t get financial aid or a loan. I was deviated I couldn’t continue my education,” said Elver.

Which shoe to pick? There are so many shoes. You need someone to educate you to find the best fit for you.

Just imagine undocumented students unable to get an education…a higher education. That’s what they’re battling for in this walk.

“If we get in-state tuition passed by the legislature, I think we’ll be creating a better future for our state,” said Elver.

“I want the legislators to know, we really want this bill. We really want in-state tuition. I myself really want to go to college. Who doesn’t have a dream? Who doesn’t want to be somebody?” said Jessica.

So far I have tried on 3 types of shoes, but there will be challenges on the road that no pair of shoes can prepare you for.

“In one of the cities where we’re stopping, someone commented there’s a lot of anti-immigrant groups. We didn’t know whether or not to go there. We decided to show them we’re not scared,” said Jessica.

I got a new pair of shoes for next week’s journey, but after this walk, these students are hoping for a new shot at higher education.

“Doesn’t matter the color of your skin, your religion, where you come from, whether you’re documented or not. I believe education is a right. That’s why I'm walking,” said Elver.

You can follow the journey from Charlotte to Raleigh here on our website as well as social media: @FountainFOX46 on Twitter and Caroline Fountain FOX46 on Facebook.

Here's some background to the battle for in-state tuition. Watch this story about two high school valedictorian candidates who are having a hard time making it to college because they're undocumented.

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