Rutgers college fair for unauthorized immigrants fills to capacity

By Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on February 13, 2015

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Rutgers-Newark, pictured in this file photo, is scheduled to hold an admissions event for immigrants living in the country illegally.

 

NEWARK — After receiving a flood of requests to attend, Rutgers-Newark has stopped taking registrations for Saturday's first-ever college fair for unauthorized immigrants.

Rutgers officials are turning away students asking to attend the event after receiving 220 registrations, said Carla Capizzi, a Rutgers-Newark spokeswoman.

"We've reached capacity," Capizzi said.

The event, called "undocuRutgers," is the first time the state university is offering an admissions event designed for "undocumented" applicants who are living in the country illegally.

Campus officials said they were prompted to hold the admissions session after receiving questions from unauthorized students about how to apply.

In 2013, Gov. Chris Christie signed the New Jersey Dream Act, which allows unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to attend New Jersey's public colleges at in-state tuition rates.

The new law does not permit immigrants living in the country illegally to apply for state or federal financial aid or loans. But unauthorized immigrants qualify for in-state tuition rates if they sign an affidavit saying they have applied or plan to apply to legalize their immigration status.

The Rutgers-Newark event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday on the Newark campus. Admissions officials from Rutgers and several county colleges are slated to attend.

The three-hour event includes sessions on how students can apply to college as unauthorized immigrants. Participants will also receive advice about paying for college.

Representatives of Rutgers-Newark's law school will be at the event to advise students on applying for a waiver allowing them to remain in the U.S. temporarily under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals measure signed by President Obama in 2012.

Rutgers officials have promised participants in the college fair that neither their names nor immigration status will be given to government officials or agencies if they attend.

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