Hi friends! My name is Carlos Jiménez and this is my first blogging experience. I am very excited to inaugurate this blog about a subject that is really important to me and to many young people in our country.

The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness, provide information, spread news, give advice and support, and lend a helping hand to high school and college AB-540 students.

Commonly referred to as illegal or undocumented, these students many times did not have a say or a choice when their families decided to immigrate to the United States. Often they have lived their whole lives in this country and consider themselves Americans.

Just like any kid their age, they are full of dreams and aspirations Sadly, their future is thwarted by their legal status; an obstacle that prevents them from reaching their full potential as professionals and human beings.

  • Throughout this blog I will be referring to undocumented students as AB-540 students because I find this term less demeaning. The term AB-540 comes from Assembly Bill 540, a law that was passed in 2001 in California that allows undocumented students to pay resident fees in California's public colleges and universities, as long as the student graduates from a California high school with at least three years of residency in the state.

It is hard to know exactly how many AB-540 students are in the United States, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • in the year 2000, approximately 2.5 million undocumented youth under the age of 18 were living in the United States.
  • Furthermore, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools each year.
  • Of this number, roughly 40%, or 26,000 undocumented youth reside in the state of California.

Clearly, there are many young men and women that suffer the uncertainty of knowing whether they will be able to go to college or not.

Many AB-540 students are honor students, athletes, student leaders, and aspiring professionals. Still, because of their status, the most of these young people will not have access to higher education and if they do, they will not be able to obtain employment upon graduation.

This situation is unacceptable and there are countless organizations, educational institutions, and activist groups that are mobilizing to make educational opportunities available for all students.

It is the intent of this blog to make it a place where AB-540 students, teachers, and advocates can gather information, get updates on national and state legislation, share their thoughts and experience, and support and encourage one another.

So welcome! Let us unite our efforts to change the situation of so many young men and women in our country.

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Comment by Christian A. Landeros on September 7, 2009 at 9:03pm
Well its is true. It is very difficult for students like me that are AB-540 students, to ave a job. It gets a bit discouraging knowing that you are undocumented because you can't do to much. Which is why i want to go to college. I feel that by going to college i will open doors for my self. But before i do i have to get residency, the problem is that i don't know how.
Comment by Kathleen Hanson on August 17, 2009 at 9:43pm
Hello Carlos,
My husband Eric is very proud of his former student. How wonderful you're working with my sister-in-law to help promote education for AB-540 students. I'm going to share this web site with all of my ESL students at San Jose City College. Your blog will be very interesting and informative for them. Many of them are AB-540s and they work a job or two while they are going to school. Many also have young families to support. We must work very hard to secure education and good employment opportunities for all such students.

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