A few weeks ago, I received a call from one of the high school seniors I work with. She was hysterically crying on the other end of the line and screaming, “I got in! I got in!” At that moment, I was convinced that she was about to share good news. This particular student is one of the most driven, hard working students I have encountered as an educator. She is a fierce young woman who has fought battles that even adults would struggle to overcome. She is a warrior. She called me that afternoon to let me know that she had been accepted into the University of California, Berkeley, her dream school, after years of hard work and with the support of her mother, who brought her to the US at a young age.
This story is not an outlier. There are thousands of undocumented students who work themselves to sleep every night to ensure that their family’s sacrifices are worth it and manage to achieve amazing things despite lacking legal documentation inside this country. Despite being the highest achieving students within classes and being extraordinarily involved individuals, the laws of this country continue to fail to protect our students within the immigration legal system. Advocates and lawmakers are hoping to change that this year by supporting The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019.
The Migration Policy Institute describes “the first bill introduced in the 116th Congress that would offer a path to legal status for DREAMers—is an expansive proposal, going beyond DREAM Act bills that have been pending in Congress in one form or another since 2001.” The passing of the Dream and Promise Act would support students like the warrior mentioned in this blog. The introduction of this bill is the beginning stage in a debate that is overdue within lawmakers of both parties. It is time for folks on both sides of the aisle to open up this conversation and negotiations needed around the future of young immigrants within the US.
Every American citizen can get involved today and make our voices heard during this important legal period for DREAMers in the United States. The National Education Association “calls on Congress to quickly pass the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 and is committed to continuing to work with friends and allies to stand up to the Trump administration’s attacks on the safety and wellbeing of immigrant families.” Supporters can use this link to email their representatives and let them know that you’re a supporter of the Dream and Promise Act of 2019.
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