EL PASO – The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that there are more than 1.7 million undocumented students in our nation. This is the case of my friend Ana, a 26-year old political science college student. Ana and I grew up together in a small mostly Anglo town in Kansas. For the security of Ana the location and her full name will not be disclosed. I never noticed any differences between us; we both always embraced the American culture rather than our Mexican roots.
The bus to the University of California at Los Angeles campus took two hours to travel a distance that would take 20 minutes by car. Sofia Campos took this bus ride twice a day during her first two years of college. As an illegal immigrant born in Lima, Peru, and brought to the U.S. when she was 6 years old, Campos can’t legally obtain a driver’s license. That’s just one of many inconveniences these students face when choosing to attend college. “We pretend when we see a cop pass by that we don’t get scared,” Campos said.