Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.
Yesterday, the North Carolina DREAM Team went to the committee meeting at the Legislative Office Building of the North Carolina General Assembly. Undocumented youth stood up for their rights and fought back against the racist anti-immigrant bills and now are in danger of being deported. You can help by calling (919) 857-9103 and ask the Wake County Jail to release the three people who were arrested.
Last year, Representative Dale Folwell of Forsyth County lost all composure and confronted Jose Rico, an undocumented youth from Raleigh, North Carolina. Representative Folwell was upset because we, the NC Dream Team, released a media advisory alerting the press that the “cowards at the general assembly were attacking immigrant children” with a bill that would give school principals in K - 12 the authority to ask for a student’s immigration status. What Representative Folwell seemed to misunderstand is that school officials are there to mentor and advocate for their students and are not immigration agents. We refused to keep quiet about the matter. And we refuse to do so now. Close to 30 anti-immigrant bills were introduced last year and Represenative Folwell was one of several other representatives who sponsored these bills. This year, these same representatives have come together to form the House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy. Twelve representatives make up this committee. Eight of them are sponsors of anti-immigrant bills. We cannot remain silent as we watch these men instill fear in our undocumented communities. Last September in Charlotte, undocumented youth willingly faced the immigration enforcement machine. Since then, we’ve said that we will no longer remain in the shadows. We meant that.
You can check out the NC DREAM Team’s website for the event here. I hung out with them while I was in Durham for the ECAASU conference, please support them and CALL!
Myths and Facts about the New York Dream Act (S4179/A6829)
Myth 1: The Bill would provide an incentive for people to come here illegally.
Fact: The New York Dream Act offers absolutely no reason for people to enter the country illegally. It does not legalize students nor does it provide benefits for immigrants who are not already here. In fact, the New York Dream Act requires students to come to the U.S. at or before the age of 18, graduate from a New York high school or obtain a GED in New York, and have resided in New York state for at least two years prior to enactment of the legislation.
Myth 2: It will be a fiscal burden and increase the strain on state educational systems.
Fact: The New York Dream Act would make money for taxpayers. State and local taxpayers are already investing in the education of undocumented students in elementary and secondary school. It would be economically illogical to bar students from attending college and developing their careers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, those who obtain a Bachelor’s degree earn $1 million more over his or her lifetime than those with a high school degree, contributing tens of thousands of dollars to New York State’s economy. The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that undocumented immigrants paid $662.4 million in taxes to New York state in 2010, making it the state with the fourth highest revenue in taxes from undocumented immigrants.
Myth 3: Documented New Yorkers will lose spots in college due to passage of the New York Dream Act.
Fact: The small number of students who will be impacted by the New York Dream Act is not significant enough to affect the opportunities of others. Moreover, allowing undocumented students to access financial aid will generate revenue for colleges and universities. While the cost of attending CUNY is $5,130 per year, the average TAP award is $2,764, the difference usually paid to the universities.
Myth 4: The New York Dream Act is a form of amnesty and would reward people who come here illegally.
Fact: The New York Dream Act will not legalize students. The bill is focused on expanding undocumented students’ access to New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The requirements to qualify for the New York Dream Act are extensive and it will not serve as an amnesty of any sort. These students are here to stay and we should provide them with the tools to become outstanding members of New York.
March 6, Albany! Be there or be…just be there.
As some of you know, I am extremely involved with the higher education campaign (especially in New York). The organizations I work with most, Save Our SUNY and New York Students Rising, focus on the public education systems in New York City and New York State. When I was at the White House AAPI Initiative briefing earlier this month, I asked the higher education panel about how the failures of America’s higher education institutes affect the APIA community. The response I mostly received was that “higher education is an American issue, not solely an Asian American issue”.
I don’t think that’s right. As I replied back to the panel, the issues of college affordability, program cuts, financial aid, and the quality of the education we receive is very much an APIA issue. By blanketing problems as “American problems”, the crucial factors of how race and ethnicity play into the situation are ignored.
Let’s think back on this year: we’ve had students deliberately not marking ‘Asian’ in order to get into college. We’ve had anti-affirmative action bake sales. We found out that Asians are statistically the most bullied in schools. Asian American studies programs are being cut nationwide.
Speaking on what I know best, the fight to preserve funding for New York’s state schools is just as much about preserving an accessible education for communities of color. By raising tuition in an institution (City Universities of New York for example), blocks out potential students from low income communities. CUNY, which used to be free, was and is sometimes the only chance for people to go to college. The same can be said for California’s CSU system.
Education is a right, not a privilege. It shouldn’t be something that we have to fight for, but reality shows that the road to education access is long and hard. We have great legislation like the DREAM Act that challenges existing notions of who “deserves” an education and fights for our people.
So now let me turn this question to you: do you think higher education is purely an American issue?
Open your eyes. Learn, get involved, and MOVE.
“So the Iowa caucus happened, and we didn’t learn much about who’s going to win the GOP nomination. But we did learn something about how the Republican candidates intend to try: by pandering to the most extreme voices in their party.
Case in point: Over the weekend, Mitt Romney told voters in Iowa that he would veto the DREAM Act if he got the chance. And today he actually called the DREAM Act a “handout.”
Romney’s been moving to the right on this issue for years, but this is the first time his position has been so clear.
The DREAM Act is common-sense legislation that has been fought for by millions of Americans in both parties, designed to help smart, motivated young people that pursue higher education or join the Armed Forces earn a path to citizenship. Allowing talented young people to fully contribute to our society would only make our country safer and more prosperous.
So it’s important that we speak up now. Stand up and fight for progress like the DREAM Act.
All of these candidates seem to think that opposing the DREAM Act will make good politics for primary season — and that’s just the start.
Ron Paul has called for repealing the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Mitt Romney says he would kick out every last undocumented worker in the United States. And in a telling slip-up, Rick Santorum once called the Latino electorate the “illegal vote.”
When they say they oppose the DREAM Act, they’re talking about denying kids who grew up here — who know no other home, who have learned in our schools and volunteered in our communities — a chance to give back to the country they love. These kids have worked hard for a shot at the American dream, just like their peers.
And if we give them the opportunity, they will help build a stronger future for our country.
Join me in fighting for the DREAM Act, and immigration reform that works for everyone:
Presidential DREAM-Act Petition”
Taken from an e-mail I recieved from Adrian Saenz, Latino Vote Director of Obama for America.
I know it sounds like the usual annoying emails you get about supporting a campaign but this is an important topic that is not been discussed enough and has been misunderstood by its opposers. For more information on the DREAM Act click here.
The DREAM Act movement strives to provide citizenship to undocumented students pursuing a higher education. Previously, we wrote a post on the national DREAM Act, which failed to pass through Senate last December. Though a state-level act cannot grant citizenship to such undocumented students, the recently passed California DREAM Act will grant undocumented students access to state funds to aid in their schooling expenses.
After former Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill three times, current Gov. Jerry Brown passed the two acts going into the state level DREAM Act for California. Put simply, this Act has two parts: AB130 and AB131. AB130, which was passed this past July, allows undocumented students to attain privately funded scholarships. The more recently passed AB131, which Gov. Brown signed into action this past Saturday, allows students to state funded financial aid programs.
AB131 is naturally more controversial and complicated, as many of those opposed to the DREAM Act will argue that undocumented students should not receive state-funded support, especially when the debt-ridden California budget is cutting back on education expenses.
However, the significance of the California DREAM Act is much bigger than that of allowing undocumented students more funding in California, although that is quite a noteworthy feat in and of itself. The bigger picture is that the California DREAM Act could create momentum to eventually bring up the national DREAM Act once again, so that citizenship can then be guaranteed under the conditions described in the bill.
In the aforementioned post from the past, I talked about a friend I knew for whom the DREAM Act would have changed his entire life. There are many people I know who also would and could benefit from this DREAM Act. No matter what arguments could be made for or against this piece of immigration legislation, I find the DREAM Act to be a personal issue because it (or the lack of it) has not just changed the lives of “undocumented students,” but the lives of my friends.
Page 1 of 2