Born in the U.S.A. and still hassled about the immigration status of their parents

J.E.B. Stuart High School in Fairfax County will soon be renamed Justice High, honoring an American value denied to some students there by three of Virginia’s most distinguished public colleges and universities.

Twelfth-grader Quetzali Cruz, a native-born American citizen, applied to the College of William & Mary, ranked 32nd among national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Her transcript verified that she lived in Virginia, but that wasn’t good enough for the nation’s second-oldest university.

Cruz, hoping to major in music, has a 4.03 grade-point average and is working toward an International Baccalaureate diploma. A William & Mary official, Kisha Thompson, emailed Cruz on Feb. 1 asking for her parents’ visa status. Cruz replied Feb. 5 that she was a citizen and listed several other official documents she could provide. Not good enough for in-state tuition, Thompson said Feb. 13.

This has been happening to students all over the state. Eric Wolf Welch, a veteran social studies teacher who runs the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college preparation program at Cruz’s high school, said three universities — Old Dominion, Christopher Newport and William & Mary — have demanded parents’ immigration papers from his students.

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