Utah student wins scholarship but can't use it because of his immigration status

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  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    June 15, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    It is tough. We are a Nation of laws and they need to be respected. Yet, we as a country like to reward people who have worked hard and done well, especially in school. There are no scholarships in his legal country?

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 12, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    The hypocrisy of these letters is breathtaking.

    You must obey the law, they solemnly intone. Sorry that it upsets you, seeing that you came here when you were six, but you can just return to Mexico and maybe become president someday.

    Um...OK. But what about the cheering for Cliven Bundy (before he put his foot in his mouth)? What about respecting the decision of a duly appointed judge who ruled that Amendment 3 was unconstitutional?

    We are a nation of laws, all right. And lots of readers think they should be able to pick and choose which ones get enforced.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    June 12, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    Regardless of the outcome, Jardon is already advantaged due to his HS education he may not have received in his home country. He likely would be a great asset in his native land. He may even end up being that country's president. He would certainly be eligible for that honor. It would require some sacrifice, though. As for a US taxpayer funded higher education, I hope he realizes his ineligibility shouldn't stop him from seeking outcomes he is eligible for.

    June 12, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    @ sanpaco. "If he's really lived here this long, applying for citizenship shouldn't be that difficult." You do NOT understand immigration law. It's not a matter of not trying hard enough. The law intentionally bars most of the people in Jardon's situtation from doing anything to get in to a legal status. It's ignorant things like that which people believe that mucks up any progress in dealing with our immigration crisis. It's time to wake up to reality: millions of foreigners live here who have too strong of family ties who will not leave unless forcibly deported...and deporting them all (whose money are we going to use?) and separating them from their families (that's not humane) is NOT the answer.

  • Ender Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    @ RichardB
    You're really going to compare a child who was brought here when he was 6 years old, who has gone on to be a good student and great kid to your "friend" in high school who committed a felony? Really?!

    And as for the "expedited" visa... I'm guessing you don't have a lot of experience with our current (broken) immigration system. If you were, you would know what a ridiculous solution you're proposing.

  • stanfunky Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 11:02 p.m.

    “He’s an amazing kid. He’s going to figure out his future on his own,” Hirschi said. “I’m just trying to help finance it for him. He earned this scholarship by his grades, by his ACT. It’s unfortunate the circumstances of the laws.”

    And sadly, giving money to him could get her in hot water as well. Might want to get some legal advice first before handing over your wallet. Even buying them a bus pass is something I've been advised is dangerous to do as Homeland Security can come after you for it in the end.

  • Nonomomorhona Salt lake city, UT
    June 11, 2014 9:21 p.m.

    Many of you commenters have no idea how difficult this applying from another country works! Years of waiting . Yes, their parents came here illegally so they could get work and feed their children. Have a heart.....or not!
    Sure hope this hardworking smart kid gets a break!

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    June 11, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    With all the information provided by the D-news if we had an operating immigration agency they would be picking up the parents and sending them back, then he could do some study abroad. What a broken system we live in, where laws are really more like suggestions or guidelines.

    June 11, 2014 7:30 p.m.

    He should return the scholarship since he is not eligible for it. Let it go to a citizen that is eligible.

    June 11, 2014 7:29 p.m.


    If he is your birth son, he should be eligible for citizenship, unless you came here and gained yours, or he is not your biological child, in which case he should be able to get a green card (if under 21, at 21 he must return to the end of the line- Supreme court ruling. I would talk to the scholarship committee and see if it can be delayed until he gets his green card.

    Since it is a state scholarship, wouldn't he need citizenship? With over a million green cards a year, and 3 million visas, it's understandable that they are backlogged. Look how long our veterans have to wait for a hospital?

  • djofraleigh raleigh, NC
    June 11, 2014 6:31 p.m.

    Maybe the USA should change the law? Maybe the smartest and most accomplished students from anywhere in the world should get US scholarships if they are the best even if US citizens don't? In NC there are private monies available to those students here illegally, but those here on Green Cards don't get anything, except the work study.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    WHY would someone apply for a scholarship they weren't eligible for?

    There are thousands of scholarships out there that my daughter doesn't quality for (union scholarships, minority scholarships, underprivileged, etc.) but the scholarships are geared towards a particular interest group.

    In this case us (the taxpayers)have passed a law that says you MUST be a CITIZEN of this country to get this scholarship.

    What's wrong with that? Afterall its' us (the taxpayers)who are paying for the education!

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    June 11, 2014 6:12 p.m.

    Scholarships given to citizens should not be given to non-citizens. Blame the scholarship committee for making this mess.

    He can get a green card, he needs to apply just like everyone else, and since we now let in extended families, which create a huge backlog, it's going to take time. If we return to immediate families, like we use to, then the lines will be much shorter.

    I had a friend in high school that broke the law, and was charged with a felony, he could not accept his scholarship either. This is one of Obama's messes for allowing young people to stay here and work. Without the deferment he could go home before 18.5 and come back on a student visa (expedited).

  • Ender Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    @ DN Subscriber
    "But, we must never reward anyone who breaks our laws."

    This young man was 6 year old when he came to the country. Are you really saying he "broke our laws"? He was 6 years old! I'm guessing he didn't have much say in the matter.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    June 11, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    Well said DN subscriber, well said.

    Now, the question I have is this. I'm somewhat confused at what the college is trying to do for this young man. The statement about 'work-study' brings up the question as to why an illegal alien student would be given preference over a citizen for work-study.

    Both need assistance...

    Just sayin'...

  • Frank Fourth New York, NY
    June 11, 2014 5:19 p.m.

    "If he's really lived here this long, applying for citizenship shouldn't be that difficult."

    Sanpaco, it doesn't matter how long you've lived in the US. As the law stands, he has absolutely no chance of getting citizenship. He doesn't even have a change of getting a Green Card. That's the whole point of the story.

    That's the whole point of the Dream Act or broader immigration reform.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 11, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    I salute Jardon for his great attitude and hard work and academic success. He rightly can be very proud of that.

    However, he should have had a civics class along the way, and learned that in the United States, we are a nation of laws, and he should have known (especially since he already got a two year reprieve) that he was here illegally. Yes, it was his parents who brought him here, and have kept him here, knowingly violating our laws.

    I urge him to return to his parents' homeland and emigrate here legally. He can be a good U.S. citizen someday.

    But, we must never reward anyone who breaks our laws.

    Otherwise, why discriminate against Utahns who drive too fast, rob banks, or cheat on taxes? Our laws apply to everyone, or no one. Immigration laws apply to everyone wanting to come here, or to no one.

    This is not a problem that Jardon created, he is a victim, but the oppressors are his parents who made bad decisions, not the people who control scholarships.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    June 11, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    Parents and the business that hires them are not thinking about the children, and the position they put them in.

    You can't make exceptions for one, without including all of them. And with parents sending their children here alone, we have to wake up to the humanitarian crisis our lack of enforcement is causing.

  • Frank Fourth New York, NY
    June 11, 2014 4:48 p.m.

    What would Jesus do?

  • sanpaco Sandy, UT
    June 11, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    Its unfortunate for him but this is the right call. If he wants to receive federal aid, he needs to be a citizen. If he's really lived here this long, applying for citizenship shouldn't be that difficult. I have a coworker who recently went through the process and it took about a year or less to go through the process and a lot of that time was because of the government shut down. Unfortunately this story will probably be used as another one of those arguments that because one person is negatively affected by the law that means it needs to change.

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    June 11, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    YEP...Our son (I'm natural born US citizen) my wife was not--won Sterling Scholar to go to UVU, and they would not allow him to have the scholarship after going through the entire process and winning. Same reason. He is here legally, but still waiting a green card. This disqualified him. Really knocked the wind from his sails. Sad we can't resolve these situations, and as is the case so often, so many voice their opinions without ever walking in the shoes of those they so easily dismiss and unworthy or judge so harshly for being here illegally, when in fact, the government, as in most things, has created a vacuum to bring illegals here, then leaves them hanging off a cliff.