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Unformatted text preview: Spring 2008 ' MEMORANDUM TO: CONCERNED CITIZENS AND VOTERS FROM: Roberto Martinez .- I ' DATE: April 23, 2008 RE: Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (S. 774).
Introduction -‘ - The current situation for undocumented students in the United States is bleak. The lack of
legal status prohibits them from lawful employment, higher education, and basic civic '
rights. Yet, many have been in this ocuntry since they were young children, and returning
to their native homeland would a difﬁcult option that many do not take. in response to.
this growing dilemma, the DREAM Act was introduced in the U.S. Congress in 2003.
The newest version (S. 774), introduced in the 2007~2008 legislative session, seeks to
provide avenues for undocumented students to live up to their full potential. Background According to the San FranciscoChronicle, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from.
U.S. high schools each year. Many of these students were brought as youngchildrento. .
the U.S. by their parents and-aspire for the chance of fulﬁlling the American Dream. Yen-l
their aspirations for further education and employment opportunities are stalled because
of their unlawful immigration status. Due to their lack of legal residence, they are
prohibited from applying and receiving scholarships, federal aid, state financial aid, and
iii—state tuition. In addition; they cannOt legally work to pay for their education. Many
take on the challenge of working and paying for school-,yet most give up on their dreams. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2007, introduced by
Richard Durbin (ID-IL), is an attempt to allow undocumented students have a chance to
reach their American'Dream. A similar Act has been introduced in the House and is
known as the American Dream Act. The legislation enacts two important provisions: 1. Allows States to charge in—state tuition for undocumented students. 2. Adjusts the status of - undocumented students similar to permanent resident-son a '
provisional basis for six years. To qualify, students must:
' Have entered the country before the age of 16.
' Have been accepted for admission into a four» or two-year college or
university or earned a high school diploma or GED certiﬁcate. ........ Spring 2008 ' Live in the U.S. during the law’s enactment and have lived in the country
for at least five yearsrpreceding the enactment date of the Act.
* Have good moral character, i.e. no criminal background. After the student has either earned their degree at a college or university, has been in
good academic standing for two years, or has served in the US. Armed Forces for two .
years andJor has an honorable discharge, their temporm legal status will be made
permanent. - '- Why We Need to Support The DREAM Act values hard work and commitment. The Act targets the best and
brightest students and rewards them for their efforts in securing a better future through
education and for their service to the US. cm'rent situation. Most undocumented students were brought to this country hy their
parents and thus should not he penolioed for their lack of legal status Baiting their
opportunities for a better future punishes them for something they did not do. The DREAM Act snpnorts Americans. Most undocumented students have been living in
this country since childhood. They are Americans that value freedom, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness. The United States is their home. The DREAM Act protects Americais investment. Halting students’ access to higher
education not only stopstheir progress, but America’s as well. The prohibition of iawful
and decent employment shuts doors for students that could have otherwise contributed to
this country at a higher economic and social level. I I Please support his vital piece of legislation that will not only improve the lives of students" '- with enormous potential, but also promote the American dream. Write to urge your-Caiifomia Senator to support the American Dream: Senator Dianne Feinstein Senator Barbara Boxer One Post Street, Suite 2450 1700 Montgomery St, Suite 240
San Francisco, CA 94104 San Francisco, CA 94111 (415) 3930707 - . - (415)-403-0100 (415) 393 0710 Fax (202) 224—0454 Fax hit"): erinstein. senate. Uov/ hit I/fboxersenatc. 'ov/ .
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