Two educational bills were re-introduced to Congress last month — The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act and The Educational Opportunity and Equity Commission Act (see News p.10) — which deserve the support of our representatives.
Every year, American high schools grant diplomas to 65,000 immigrant students who were brought to this country at a young age. Many of these youth have attended U.S. schools for most of their lives, but their immigration status bars them from opportunities that make a college education affordable, including in-state tuition rates, loans and grants, most private scholarships, and the ability to work legally. Despite their long-term residence in the U.S., these students are unable to further their educational accomplishments or fully contribute to the only country they know and call home.
Under the provisions of the DREAM Act, undocumented young people could be eligible for a conditional path to citizenship in exchange for a mandatory two year commitment in higher education or the military. Undocumented young people must also demonstrate good moral character to be eligible for and stay in conditional residency. At the end of the long process, the young person can have the chance to become an American citizen.