With commencement ceremonies taking place nationwide, the reality that a dead end looms ahead for an estimated 65,000 undocumented high school graduates is of concern to national organizations who today issued a call to action on the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009 - DREAM Act, S.729, H.R. 1751). The call to action is a concerted effort by the newly formed “Act on the DREAM Coalition” in support of the passage of the DREAM Act in 2010.
“We are extremely concerned that the interests of many undocumented youths seem to have been forgotten in the debate for Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” said Antonio R. Flores, President and CEO of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. “Although we fully support Comprehensive Immigration Reform, we are not in favor of having undocumented U.S. high school students wait on the sidelines beyond 2010.”
“As educators who work with students every day and are committed to core values that include diversity and access, many student affairs leaders say that resolving issues around undocumented students is one of the biggest issues they currently face,” said NASPA Executive Director Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy. “Year after year, this issue has fallen prey to political gamesmanship. No matter how one may feel about larger immigration issues, the DREAM Act has bipartisan support and is too important to the future of our students and the future of this nation not to be considered now. The principles are sound, and now it is TIME TO ACT.”
The Act on the DREAM Coalition, comprised of 25 organizations, announced a summer campaign to send letters to members of Congress urging co-sponsorship and support of the DREAM Act to provide a pathway to legal residency to remove barriers to higher education for thousands of students who are not legal residents of this country through no fault of their own.