“Immigration status should not be a barrier to higher education”

December 14, 2017 - Tamara Williams

Professor Maryam Ahranjani

Professor Maryam Ahranjani outlines her views on the rights of undocumented students and the value of diversity in education in an article published in the CLEO EDGE, “the magazine for tomorrow’s law students.”

In What Does Immigration Status Have to do with Law School Diversity, Ahranjani suggests that young people who are undocumented remain underrepresented, and that a number of states, including New Mexico, offer in-state tuition and other support for undocumented students. She concludes that immigration status should not be a barrier to higher education and that all students benefit from diverse views.

Following are excerpts from her article:  

“Although exact numbers are difficult to ascertain, one of the groups that seems underrepresented both in higher education in general and in law school in particular is young people who are undocumented, many of who ended up in the U.S. because they were brought as children by an adult family member or sent by family members.”

 “New Mexico state law explicitly prohibits discrimination against students based on their immigration status and provides in-state tuition and state funds to applicants who attended at least a year of secondary education in New Mexico and graduated or obtained a GED in New Mexico.”

“Immigration status should not be a barrier to higher education. Not only do law schools have an educational interest in including diverse perspectives, including those of undocumented students, but all students benefit from learning with and from students who have lived in the shadows of our immigration system.”