A novel solution to help educate, not punish, immigrants

Mexicans are among the fastest growing immigrant group in New York City, but when it comes to going to college, they lag way behind. That’s why one public college here has launched a hopeful endeavor to further their education, in what may be the first program of its kind, according to a story in yesterday’s New York Daily News.

New hope for Mexican immigrants?

At a time when Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants is drawing national headlines and protest, New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn has introduced a free pilot program aimed at helping undocumented Mexican restaurant workers go back to school , with 15 weeks of technology training along with lessons in English and math. They also get a certificate from City Tech that’s recognized in Mexico.

The program is funded with the help of a $100,000 grant from the Mexican government. CUNY Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson portrays the program as a practical approach to head off an “educational catastrophe” among Mexican immigrants by encouraging them to begin their education. The program is even courting illegal immigrants.

“Hopefully, someday soon there will be immigration reform in our nation,” Hershenson told the Daily News. “But since we live in the present, we want to do everything we can now.”

Liz Willen

POSTED BY ON May 3, 2010