Towards the end of June, three students spent several days on a hunger strike at a camp site near the N.C. State Archives building. The strike ended on June 27th when one of the students, Loida Ginocchio-Silva, went to the emergency room for dehydration and heat stroke related conditions. Their intention was to persuade Senator Kay Hagan to co-sponsor the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act). The DREAM Act would create a conditional path toward residency for illegal immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16 if they attend 2 years of higher education or complete 2 years of military service.
As a result of her hospitalization, Silva ended up with a $4135.78 hospital bill. Silva claimed she had not obtained health insurance. To pay for her hospitalization, she sponsored a community dinner on August 15th at her house with a minimum $10 donation. She also mentioned she was returning to the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC-Asheville) to continue her studies a few days after her dinner.
Her admitted statements raise some concerns. Regardless of your opinion of the DREAM Act or future immigration policies, under current law, Silva and her family are here illegally. At the very least, everyone can agree that under current law, she is a foreign resident attending a NC public university. As such, she should pay out of state tuition. Is she in fact paying out of state tuition?
Furthermore, she made her plea for donations to cover hospital expenses due to lack of health insurance. As a student of UNC-Asheville, their policy requires her to have health coverage for the entire 12 months. It is interesting then that she lacked health coverage. Is she complying with university policies? These are just a few of the questions I would like to find out from Ms. Ginocchio-Silva.