8 arrested during undocumented student tuition protest at University of Michigan

(wxyz) - Eight people were arrested during a protest at the University of Michigan for undocumented student tuition equality, according to the Ann Arbor Police spokesperson. 

Police say seven of the protestors arrested were students, one was alumni. Approximately 40 people were protesting in front of the Michigan Union when they apparently started blocking traffic and closing down the road. 

"I was mentally prepared to do it," said Marisol Ramos, a graduate student at U of M.  "I really am following in the footsteps of undocumented youth who have been doing this all over the country."

Ramos was arrested and issued a ticket before being released by police.  All eight of the protesters have been released.

"I would do it again until we get tuition equality at U of M," said Ramos.  Her parents came over from Mexico and later became United States citizens.  Ramos feels lucky to have been born in the United States.

"For an undocumented student, they often pay three times the rate, international student rates," said Ramos.  Ramos said the majority of students they are talking about who would be affected are people who come over with their parents when they are young and are not U.S. citizens.

Tuition for an in-state student is almost $13,000 dollars a year.  Undocumented students pay the same rate as international students and they don't qualify for financial aid, loans, or grants.

Not all protesters were students.  One Michigan organized the protested.  The group is an undocumented youth led organization advocating for immigrant rights. 

"So these are young kids who go to Michigan high schools and do all the same things.  So we're just asking for it to be a fair situation," said Jose Franco with One Michigan.

All 8 people arrested received tickets and Ann Arbor police said they will probably be charged with disorderly conduct or disobeying a police officer.

The group said they will be holding another protest Thursday at 3 p.m. in the same place outside of the student union to coincide with the U of M Board of Regents meeting because they may vote on tuition equality.

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