They're here illegally, but want equal opportunity for affordable education. Undocumented students are joining in the decade-long push for changes to the state law.
"Mississippi is and has been my home since I was twelve years old," Mexico native ADrian Gamboa told a house committee Monday.
Gamboa graduated from Biloxi High School in 2012. He had a high enough ACT score to qualify for scholarships. That's if he was a documented resident...but he's not.
"I actually do live in Mississippi," explained Gamboa. "I don't think I should be considered an out of state student."
He went to community college for one semester but was paying double the price of in-state students.
"This semester now I'm taking it off because I can't afford $2,000 a semester," said Gamboa. "But if I could pay in state tuition, I wouldn't have to take semesters off every other semester."
Members of the House Universities and Colleges Committee don't think situations like Gamboa's should exist.
"They're going to be productive citizens," argued Representative Cecil Brown-D. "These are people that have gone through a lot to get where they are. They want to fit into the community, they want to pay taxes, they want to get jobs, they want to get a good education."
Activist Jackie Castro-Cooper says current state laws put up road blocks for them.
"We're talking about dreams," she explained. "We're talking about human lives in Mississippi that have halted. They have stopped because they do not have the money to go to college."
Committee vice chairman Gregory Holloway says they'll have to re-visit the issue next session.
"The jury's still out," said Holloway. "There's still some information about the number of undocumented immigrants in the state and how much it would cost the state."
Adrian Gamboa is anxiously waiting to see if the decade-long fight will come to an end soon and save his family's bank account.
"It's a heavy cross that my family and I have to carry," said Gamboa.
Federal law only requires states to provide K-12 education to undocumented students. The call on offering in-state college tuition is left up to the states.
Immigrants rights workers estimate there are between 800-1,000 students who would be impacted by a change in the law.
Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:27 AM EDT2014-08-26 13:27:00 GMT
A Jackson Prep football player hospitalized following Friday night's game has died. Walker Wilbanks was transported Friday to the hospital during the second half of the school's home football game againstMore >>
Pressler says Walker's death was an "unfortunate freak event" revolving around the balance of sodium and water in the body. He says it had no reflection of being over or underhydrated.
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:33:06 GMT
SPARTANBURG COUNT, SC (WYFF) - Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. DeputiesMore >>
Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.More >>
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online.More >>
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.More >>
Saturday, August 30 2014 9:55 PM EDT2014-08-31 01:55:31 GMT
A Cirrus SR22 recreational plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean Saturday, about 50 miles from Wallops Island, Va. The Coast Guard reported one person was on board.A Coast Guard team from Elizabeth City,More >>
A Cirrus SR22 recreational plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean Saturday, 51 miles southeast of Chincoteague Island, Va. The Coast Guard reported one person was on board.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201