FGI believes that just because a child is in the country illegally and finds themselves a victim of what has become known as the “prison to deportation pipeline”, that does not mean that he or she should ever stop dreaming.
YOUTHFUL OFFENDER SCHOLARSHIP
The Youthful Offender Scholarship is for individuals currently incarcerated within the State of Texas with a desire to obtain their FIRST trade certification. You must have been convicted of your crime before age 25 and have an immigration detainer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Currently incarcerated in Texas
Convicted of your crime before age 25
Attempting to obtain your FIRST trade certification
Must provide proof of acceptance into a certification program
Have an immigration detainer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Scholarships are based on funding availability
"Young adults develop an accelerator long before they can steer and brake."
-Ronald Dahl, MD pediatrician and developmental psychologist
Hundreds of thousands of children have been brought to the United States illegally by their parents in search of the American Dream: the ability to provide opportunity and a better life for their children. Many of these immigrants still face financial and socioeconomic hardship upon arrival, but do not lose hope that their children will prosper and lead greater lives. The darker part of the American “Dream” is that when you are an underprivileged person of color, you are significantly more likely to be imprisoned.
There is a misconception that immigration and deportation only affect those of Hispanic and Latino heritage; however, Black people are heavily impacted as well. The U.S. Census reveals that Black people are incarcerated five times more than Whites, and that Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to be incarcerated as Whites. The 2019 Prison Policy Initiative report also highlights that Black people only comprise 13% of the U.S. population, yet 42% of boys and 35% of girls within juvenile facilities are Black. Black people also have a national incarceration rate of 2,306 per 100,000, which is five times higher than the 450 per 100,000 of Whites.
Once incarcerated, if the offender is in the country illegally, their education is often limited to a GED. If they aspire to pursue higher education, their family is then required to pay out of pocket, as there are little to no educational resources available for incarcerated illegal immigrants to cover the cost of higher education. Many offenders enter prison as children and serve sentences that often range from 10-20 years. Unfortunately, by the time they are released, they are adults with very limited skills and education, and face deportation to their country of birth: a place they have never known as home.
The thought of being deported to an unknown country can be unnerving. We at the Freedom Granted Initiative strive to provide light and hope by offering the Youthful Offender Scholarship to incarcerated illegal immigrants. For many black and brown children, dreams are often interrupted by incarceration; FGI believes that just because a child is in the country illegally, and finds themselves a victim of what has become known as the “prison to deportation pipeline”, that does not mean that he or she should ever stop dreaming.
Statistical Data Sources: