As adopted by
the National Policy Steering Committee and
Task Force on September 21, 2011
year approximately 50,000-65,000 undocumented students graduate from American
high schools. Many of these students were brought to the United States when
they were very young and grew up in American schools, learning American values
and experiencing American culture.
supports federal legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for
these students, and continues to work to make a federal DREAM Act a reality.
in the absence of such federal legislation, however, several states have
enacted, and others are considering, their own version of the DREAM Act. While
the states may not, of course, change the immigration status of individuals,
these bills would provide these students with access to opportunities in higher
education similar to the opportunities available to citizen residents. In so
doing, state DREAM Acts could help break the cycle of underemployment,
instability, and poverty experienced by undocumented immigrants and could
reduce dropout rates, criminal justice costs, and the need for public
assistance. State DREAM Acts would also reward good behavior by young people
who, despite their circumstances, have worked hard and remained in school. The
young people who would benefit from these bills are in the formative years of
their lives. Further delay, even for just a few years, could have a tragic
undocumented students with the financial resources to succeed speaks to the
very purpose of the DREAM Act.Allowing
these students access to the same tuition rates and financial aid as their high
school classmates is only fair.These
students have come of age in the United States and attended American schools
from a young age. They watch American television and listen to American music,
celebrate American holidays, and speak English – in sum, they are American.
Just as the idea of sending them to a country where they have not lived for
most of their lives is as impractical as it is inhumane, the idea of treating
them differently from their classmates is fundamentally unfair.
these reasons, AJC supports access to in-state tuition and publicly-funded
financial aid for DREAM Act-eligible students.