Cross post from My Left Nutmeg
Although the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act failed passage in Congress, immigrant rights supporters in Connecticut press forward with their desire to make higher education affordable to students regardless of their legal status.
Last Saturday, a rally was held in New Haven in support of legislation introduced at the Capitol that will give undocumented immigrants the chance to attend public universities at in-state tuition rates. Ten states already have similar laws to what’s being proposed in Connecticut and a similar proposal was approved by the general assembly in 2007. Unfortunately, the bill was vetoed by then Governor Rell. With a new governor in office who has stated that he would sign the measure if it made it to his desk, immigrant right activists are hopeful that their proposal will finally become law.
As a strong advocate for immigrant rights, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve listened to stories of undocumented students who are being punished by the system simply because they were came to this country at a young age. Being denied access to higher education at the same rates as other in-state students because of your legal status makes no sense. For the children of undocumented immigrants, many of whom were brought to this country as infants, this country is the only home they know. To punish individuals from accessing higher education due to the actions of their parents is simply inhumane.
For those who are unfamiliar with this issue, I encourage you to view the following video and listen to the people who spoke in support of this bill. People like Mariano Cardoso, a 22 year old undocumented college student who faces a voluntary deportation although he’s lived in the United States since he was 22 months old. Or María and Lorella Praeli, sisters from Peru who describe the struggles undocumented students and parents go through in order to get a college education.
After viewing the video, hopefully you’ll have a better appreciation for the those in support of Connecticut’s version of the DREAM Act.
You can find more information regarding supproters for the in-state tuition bill, check out the Connecticut Students for a DREAM page on Facebook.