US Citizen Enrolling At Montgomery College Denied College Aid By DC, Mother’s Immigration Status In QuestionBy Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
A student who is a US citizen was denied of college financial assistance just because of her mother's immigration status. Natalia Villalobos, who is born and raised in Washington D.C. was forced to postpone her college education for two years, after being denied twice by the DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program or DCTAG.
Villalobos graduated from Emerson Preparatory School in 2015, and dreamt of having her own day care so she wanted to enroll in college and study business and child development, The Washington Post reported. She was supposed to enroll in Montgomery College but she was rejected because her mother is not a US citizen nor a permanent legal resident.
Villalobos expressed how shocked she was because she is a US citizen and should not be treated differently, according to Telesur. DCTAG guidelines state that the parents of the applicant must be US citizens or permanent residents, and the case of Villalobos was tagged "illegal" and "unconstitutional" by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
MALDEF is currently suing the District of Columbia on behalf of Villalobos who simply wants to be a daycare owner. They filed a lawsuit in the District last week, alleging the DCTAG program for being unfair and discriminatory with US citizens with immigrant parents.
The young teen also told NBC News that it is not fair to be discriminated as a citizen of this country over her mother's status.
Villalobos' mother left El Salvador a couple of years ago, and she was granted a Temporary Protected Status, which is usually being given to people who are unable to go back to their countries because of various reasons including environmental disasters and armed conflicts. She does not have any way to earn US citizenship or become a permanent resident of the United States.