“Undocumented Students and the Right to Education”

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 - 4:30pm to 5:50pm

Over 25 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court held that undocumented students have a right to K12 education, but avoided ruling that it was a constitutional right. However, access to public colleges for undocumented students varies drastically across the United States: 18 states charge undocumented students in-state tuition and six provide state financial aid, but three states prohibit in-state tuition by law and two states legally ban undocumented students. In this panel, historian Pedro Cameselle, immigration attorney Hannah Stone, and students from Western’s Idea Institute and the WWU Blue Group will review the past, current and future challenges facing undocumented students through history, law, and policy.



Pedro Cameselle is assistant Professor of History at WWU. He is originally from Uruguay and his research is on US-Latin American relations.

Victoria Matey Mendoza is a senior at WWU studying Business Administration and Marketing. She has a fellowship from the WWU Idea Institute to educate the campus community on the status and rights of undocumented students. She is also the internal coordinator of the Ethnic Student Center and served as the president of the WWU Blue Group in 2016-2017

Hannah E. Stone is a local attorney who limits her practice to solely U.S. immigration and citizenship law.  She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Spanish Language from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Hannah obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law where she studied with one of the nation’s foremost immigration law professors, Hiroshi Motomura.  While in school, she taught English to migrant farm-workers at the local labor camps in North Carolina.  She and her husband decided to relocate to Washington State after she completed an internship with the Center for Social Justice in Seattle. 

Western Washington University Blue Group’s purpose is to support HB 1079 students and other undocumented students in pursuit of a higher education at Western. The mission of the Blue Group is to provide undocumented students with a safer space to meet other undocumented students, find resources, services, and build community.