There will be about 3,3 million students graduating from high schools in the Unites States in 2010, both from public and private schools. (see table).
Without a chance to get an official identification document (state or federal), undocumented students who were raised in the U.S., are unable to study or legally work in the country.
Undocumented students can be deported at any given time, they do not have a legal right to work, they cannot enlist and serve in the military, but most importantly they do not have any possible way to become U.S. citizens.
Most of the undocumented students were brought to the United States as young children by their parents, who believed that this country would eventually provide them with a better future, education and jobs opportunities. A better life.
What will happen to them now? Will they become productive individuals or unemployed delinquents? Will they become leaders of their communities or will they join gangs ?
There is hope.
The DREAM Act bill is waiting in Congress to be passed. The initiatives Senate 729 and House of Representatives 1751 will give more than 270,000 undocumented students in the United States, a life changing opportunity. Please watch this video:
The DREAM Act will benefit students who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, who have graduated from a U.S. high school or have a GED diploma, they should not have any criminal records, they have to be at least 5 years in the U.S. before the bill is passed, and students cannot be older than age of 35 in order to apply.
Once the bill is passed, the beneficiaries will have up to six years to complete a two-year college degree, or to complete two-years of military service. Then, they will have a chance to become U.S. citizens.
Under the DREAM Act, students will be able to drive, work, get federal work and study, and take part in most activities as legal residents except travel abroad for a long period. It allows states to give tuition benefits to undocumented students.
Unfortunately, the DREAM Act will not cancel a current order of removal or deportation.
Walking for a dream
Four undocumented students have decided they cannot wait any longer for a chance to become U.S. citizens. Gaby Pacheco, Felipe Matos, Carlos Roa and Juan Rodriguez are walking over 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington, DC, to demand attention from Congress for the DREAM Act, but most importantly to educate U.S. citizens about their dreams:
On January 1, 2010, we embarked on a 1,500-mile walk from our home in Miami, FL, to Washington, D.C. We walk to share our stories, so that everyday Americans understand what it’s like for the millions of immigrants, especially young people, unable to fully participate in society. It’s time that our country come together to fix a failed system that keeps millions in the shadows, with no pathway to a better life.
Our journey will be long and full of hardship, but for us, we see no other option. We are putting our futures in jeopardy because our present is unbearable.
Currently, the Dream Walkers are in North Carolina. Visit their website and stay updated on how YOU can help.
But is the DREAM act good for the United States?
Yes. This bill would legalize more than 279,000 young students raised in the U.S., benefiting only those who become college students or military personnel. This will promote for young undocumented students to graduate from high school. With a current 57% graduation rate, this is needed.
This bill will increase the prosperity of the U.S. as it will enable thousands of individuals to join the workforce and to integrate into society. New citizens will pay more taxes and contribute to the economy, in a better and formal way.
It will promote a more just and fair society, as this bill will protect the human rights of children raised in the U.S. and their families. This bill is urgent, and it should be passed by Congress.
This is also a matter of justice, human rights and a way to helping oppressed communities. Not all, but most of undocumented students belong to families who escaped violence, poverty, discrimination and social injustice in Latin America and other oppressed regions of the planet.
Please contact your Congress members and ask them to support the DREAM Act, today.
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