IUB, IUPUI Students Among Arrested at Governor’s Office

Posted on May 13, 2011

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DEANNA ALLBRITTIN

DREAM IU, a student organization founded to “inform others about issues that affect undocumented students and their communities” have been busy these past six months, fighting for the DREAM Act and fighting against stringent immigration bills.

Now, their fight has come straight to the Indiana Governor’s door.

Sayra Perez, an upcoming sophomore at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Idamarie Collazo, who is in her third year at IUPUI, were two of the six college students arrested at Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ office Monday afternoon. Collazo was arrested for resisting arrest while the other five were arrested for criminal trespassing when they slipped into Governor Daniels’ office.

According to the Evansville Courier and Press, they were a part of a group of 60 protesting House Bill 1402 and Senate Bill 590, which are immigration measures awaiting the governor’s signature.

House Bill 1402 says that effective July 1, 2011, “An individual who is not lawfully present in the United States is not eligible to pay the resident tuition rate that is determined by the state educational institution.”

For Perez, a Mexico native who said she has lived in Indiana since she was five, this bill would increase her $9,028 tuition by $18,660, the difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition at IUPUI.

According to the Courier and Press, Perez said, “We will no longer be able to afford college prices. We can’t afford out-of-state tuition, and we won’t be able to get jobs any more.”

Although the federal government has lifted the immigration detention hearings for what has become known on social networking sites as “The Five”, no one is yet sure whether the students in the group who were brought to the U.S. as children will face deportation later. (Collazo is not included in this group of five because she is not suspected of being an illegal immigrant.) If this protest and series of arrests are like ones happening across the country, “The Five” will not be deported.

Despite Gov. Daniels’ spokesperson’s insistence that the bill will be signed into law, “The Five” are going on a hunger strike until the bill is vetoed.

This bill is part of a wave of similar legislation across the country-the one that passed in Arizona, two that are on the way to their Governors’ desks in Alabama and Georgia and one that has just today gotten tangled in the courts in Utah.

The Obama Administration released a “Blueprint for Building a 21st Century Immigration System” in response to the push of state immigration laws that either are, or inevitably will be tied up in federal appeals courts due to their controversial, and possibly Constituion-defying nature.

According to the release, the other students arrested were Omar and Erick Gama, IUB students; Ana Paola Ruiz, a Marian University student and Lupe Pimentel, whose college affiliation is undetermined.

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