A message from the National Council de la Raza. -Angela
Marie Gonzalez has lived in this country since she was five years old. She was on the track and tennis teams in high school, volunteered for her community and church, and graduated with honors. In spite of her accomplishments and contributions, she is facing deportation – she and her family must leave the United States by July 5.
Every year, 65,000 immigrant students find themselves in situations like Marie’s. Even though they have grown up in this country and met the same educational requirements as their native-born classmates, these students face serious limitations to realizing their dreams.
Under our broken immigration system, immigrant students like Marie have no way to adjust their immigration status. Without legal status, doors to higher education, the workforce, and ultimately a full and productive future are closed to these students.
Fortunately, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) created a bill called the “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors” (DREAM) Act, and introduced it in the last Congress.
The DREAM Act would change the dire situation that immigrant students find themselves in by:
* Paving a road to legalization for immigrant students that meet certain requirements, and
* Returning to states the right to extend in-state tuition relief to immigrant students regardless of their immigration status.
This bill had bipartisan support, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and could have passed the entire Senate. Unfortunately, the Senate never had the opportunity to vote on the DREAM Act. Therefore, it must be reintroduced this year.
Reintroducing the DREAM Act and allowing the Senate to vote on and pass this bill would enable immigrant students to go to college, become citizens, and give back to this country, their home. The DREAM Act may not be passed in time to help Marie, but it will help the thousands of students like her. We cannot afford to lose another Marie.
Please help Marie and support the DREAM Act by:
1) Sending a letter to Senator Hatch, encouraging him to reintroduce the “DREAM Act,” by clicking here.
2) Signing an online petition supporting immigration relief for Marie by click on this link.