Undocumented Illinois college students upset by a recent veto from the governor are set to speak out Friday morning. The students plan to hold a press conference and rally in Chicago at the Plaza de Las Americas on Michigan Avenue.
Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation last week that would have allowed undocumented students to run for the student position on the University of Illinois' Board of Trustees.
The legislation was proposed after then-student Mateo Uribe Rios was disqualified in February 2015 from running for the student position on the UI Board of Trustees because of his undocumented status. Uribe Rios has since graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Having an Illinois voter registration card is one of the three eligibility requirements for students running for the position, something Uribe Rios could not obtain because he is undocumented.
In vetoing the legislation, the governor stated in part:
The University of Illinois is a public institution supported by Illinois taxpayers, and therefore in-state student representation on its Board of Trustees should be a priority. Student trustees have the authority to influence decisions with lasting effects on the University and Illinois taxpayers, so it is therefore important to ensure that student trustees are residents of Illinois. Senate Bill 2204 goes too far in eroding the residency requirement.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is one of the groups organizing today's rally.
"Contrary to Governor Rauner's statement, undocumented residents of Illinois do pay taxes," the organization said in a statement.
"To say that one group of students 'should be a priority' as opposed to the whole student body is discrimination," ICIRR added. "No one particular group is more deserving than another to have the opportunity to represent their students in the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, student governments, and in any positions that deal with their direct affairs. All students deserve the same treatment, inclusion and equity."