Professional and College Careers Pursued By Immigrants
It is becoming more and more common for undocumented immigrants to pursue higher education hoping for careers one day as professionals. For one undocumented young adult, it seemed nearly inconceivable to attend college since she did not have a social security number, work permit and was not qualified to apply for any financial aid. Nevertheless, because of excellent grades and volunteering for hours and hours of work she paid her way through college and eventually graduate school with internships.
For the majority of undocumented students they must volunteer and go well beyond what other students do. Thousands of college age adults were brought into the U.S. as children illegally and are attending universities in many places around the country. They have found ways to circumvent the current laws and other legal roadblocks to attend universities and then find a job. They have succeeded in getting work experience, opening their own businesses and earning professional licenses in their respective fields.
A Sociology professor in Chicago said there are a pool of talented professional who believe in their hearts they are American, since they were educated and raised in the country, speak perfect English and have education levels that are equal to or higher than the average American.
There are no exact numbers available on the total number of undocumented immigrants enrolled in universities or that have graduated since schools do not collect that sort of data. However, in 2010, it was estimated that over 96,000 people, who were undocumented, held an associate’s degree or more.
Many find work as independent contractors since the law does not require employers to know the legal status of the people they hire as independent contractors.