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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Education > DREAM Act students create new site to foster support for their desire to be educated citizens

DREAM Act students create new site to foster support for their desire to be educated citizens

LatinaLista — The upper most thought in most college students’ minds this month is where they are going to spend their Spring Break.
Yet for some kids, it’s whether or not they will be able to afford to go to college or be able to put their degrees to work once they’re finished. These are the undocumented students, better known, as the DREAM Act students.

If there is one campaign promise made by President Obama that sparked hope in many Latino households, it was his support that the DREAM Act be passed.
Well, one school year is winding down and scholarship and admission applications are already underway for the 2009-2010 school year — and still students are left in limbo as to when this administration will fulfill their promise to them.
To urge President Obama and Congress to act sooner rather than later, a new website has been created — Dream Act 2009.
At the site, visitors are asked to sign an online petition urging Congress to pass the DREAM Act. The students behind the site are also trying to raise donations to help with lobbying efforts for the bill. Their goal is a modest $1,000.
In these times where the national consensus has been that our hard-earned money has been wasted on bailouts that are being used to pay employee bonuses, it is clear that support of the DREAM Act would prove to reap a much more profitable and reliable return that will help this country with skilled labor and/or more patriotic individuals serving the country in uniform.
Latina Lista fully supports the passage of the the DREAM Act and urges Congress to be visionaries to see what benefits these students will bring to this country.

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Comment(28)

  • Avatar
    Lea Ortiz
    March 16, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Thank you for letting me know about this. I will be contacting my elected officials and have them do just the opposite. I will make sure more people know what is going on trying to fund illegals with an education.
    You know I could use money for college.
    Amazing of course, you think someone illegal should obtain monies for school and not someone that is a natural born citizen.
    That is discrimination. DISCRIMINATION Very typical of the Democrat Party. Hiding the discrimination with words that sound wonderful.
    If this thing gets passed, I think I will apply for aid for school as well. After all I am an Ortiz.
    Any idea where I can register as an undocumented student?

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Not satisfied that they get away with their illegal presence in this country, these students demand the same rights as Americans. They’re lucky that our colleges permit them entry, never mind granting in-state tuition, and don’t report them to ICE. I also find it incredible that their friends and advocates have the audacity to make such unreasonable demands of our citizens and don’t advise them to keep a low profile. They should accept the situation that their parents put them in and just pay up. Americans are getting fed up with this insanity, making it likely that a backlash against these people will ensue. This is truly the world that has had reason standing on it’s head.

  • Avatar
    Hissy
    March 17, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Why blur the face? If you have enough guts to beg for more taxpayer $ then show your face. The DREAM ACT is wrong. Americans pay for EVERYTHING for EVERBODY! Enugh already. Isn’t it enough that we pay for aliens for 12 years of school?

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    March 17, 2009 at 8:48 am

    For a long time I have sat by while some commenters on this blog accuse me and others who advocate for the humane treatment of the undocumented (meaning their only crime is they don’t have the documentation to be here legally, not that they are illegal people) as being “unAmerican” or promoting breaking the “rule of law.”
    After reading the responses of Horace, Lea and Hissy regarding the students who want only to go to school and/or enter the military after spending their lives growing up in the United States, I am so deeply disappointed in the lack of basic human empathy from these individuals and others like them. For these people, the “rule of law” is so absolute that it leaves no room for error. Thank god, that throughout history of this country our forefathers had the wisdom and vision, more than these individuals show, to know when laws needed to be changed or erased from the books. It is not a stretch of the imagination to imagine another time in our history when the laws said it was ok to see slaves as property that these same individuals and others who agree with them, would be the neighbors that turned people in for harboring runaway slaves.
    No doubt, they won’t see the similarities in what they are saying to my example but how is it really any different — in both cases, there is a denial of humanity. Back then, it was because of the color of skin; today, it’s because of a piece of paper.
    These are dark times indeed, when vilifying a group of students who are hard-working and want only to improve themselves in the only country they know as home, has become sport for people who don’t want solutions or are willing to compromise in their beliefs to reach a middle ground because they want to uphold a flawed law that doesn’t reflect the realities of the present.

  • Avatar
    Hissy
    March 17, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Please understand me…I have no problem with helping students. It is when you ONLY help a certain group that I have a problem with using tax $. If the DREAM ACT is so special…it should be for EVERYBODY…not just immigrants or aliens. Change the title and help LOW INCOME AMERICANS of ALL ethnic backgrounds..then I will be okay with it. I do not accept racism of any kind and that is what this is really. It is still a crime to sneak into this country and they should not be rewarded any more than they already are. We are tired of looking the other way on this issue. A dishonest person does not deserve free education in our country…they should go back to thier own country and try getting 12 years of free education before condemning the US taxpayer and calling us racist.

  • Avatar
    Idler
    March 17, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Marisa, first you tolerate the breach of law, then you blame others for its logical consequences.
    What is wrong with letting these folks take the steps to become American citizens? What justice is there in confiscating treasure from citizens to give it to non-citizens? Who does the government serve?
    The talk about “illegal persons” is silly. Would you object to saying someone is an illegal driver because they drove while on the revoked list? Perhaps they should be able to plead for sympathy and say, “I’m not illegal, I’m just an undocumented driver”!
    When I go through customs at the airport I’d better have the right documentation or the officers aren’t going to let me in. My “only crime,” according to you, will be not having the right piece of paper.
    It’s almost as if you fail to understand that “a piece of paper” is merely a representation of something more significant. What you do is you supress that important reality as inconvenient to your argument.
    Consider this hypothetical situation: someone immigrated legally to this country when a child and would like to have the full rights of American citizenship. This person will not be able to complete the process before his Green Card expires. That means he will have to go through the expense of renewing his Green Card, and then the further expense of applying for citizenship. Why should he have to go through this while others get the benefits of citizenship without the expense?

  • Avatar
    srf
    March 17, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I just thought you might find this interesting:
    http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2009/03/17/mo-teen-avoids-deportation-least-now/

  • Avatar
    Hissy
    March 17, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Once again the race card is pulled. How in the world can you say that I would probably turn in people that harbored slaves? How do you know that my family were not the slaves? This site is beginning to bore me.

  • Avatar
    Panchito
    March 17, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    All universities have strict qualification rules concerning in-state tuition. If a student meets the university’s qualification requirements, why is this such a big deal?
    If they meet the State “rules” why the uproar among those who advocate strict adherence to the “rule of law”. Why the double speak?
    By the way folks, In-state tuition does not mean a free education – I know because my son is a current student at the University. In-state tuition, fees, room and board comes out to about 18k per year. Does this sound like it’s free?
    Also, some of you claim that illegals are a bunch of illiterate, criminals that will not assimilate. However, when these individuals show inspiration and the motivation to make a greater contribution to our society, by being better educated, you accuse them of “having the audacity to make such unreasonable demands”. Make up you minds. Why the double tongue?
    By the way Lea, did you contact your elected officials when the Federal Government, under Republican control, quadrupled the number of Saudi student visa’s only a few months after 9/11.
    How quickly you and you ignorant friends forgot the nationality of the perpetrators of 9/11 and how they got here.

  • Avatar
    laura
    March 18, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Marisa,
    thinking about your comment, I would say the hate-filled posts about “illegals” which we read here are just a reflection of the sad mental and emotional state of the posters. Individuals who hope to improve their own position in life and in society by holding someone else’s down, harbor a deep insecurity and inability to conceive of positive ways by which they could advance themselves, along with helping everyone else.
    The three posters whose comments appear above yours are prime examples of this. Instead of working on ways to improve everyone’s access to higher education, including their own, such individuals think they will be better off if they advocate denying it to others. Those others, the Dream Students, may have better grades, or may already as teenagers have made more contributions to their communities than those individuals ever did. The only thing the Dream Students do not have is visas.
    It is to the great advantage of the United States to educate every resident here to their maximal potential. A well-educated workforce is the best asset a country can have. The citizenship or visa status of various members of the workforce has no bearing on their ability to contribute to this country’s needs. What does have bearing is their work ethic, their intelligence, and their willingness to work for the common good as opposed to only their own self-interest.
    Western European countries, where I got my own postgraduate education, have realized this for decades and have long provided free higher education to citizens and non-citizens alike. It is time to pass the Dream Act. Moreover, all qualified high school students, American and immigrant, need to have affordable access to college. Why don’t we follow Europe’s example and make college free?

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    March 18, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    First ignorning Laura’s usual race card pulling and false assumptions about the personal lives of others in here just because they respect our immigration laws and expect them to be enforced, we will move right along now.
    Treating illegal immigrants “humanely”does not include providing them with a college education or in-state tuition. They have already received a publicly funded pre-school (Head Start) through 12th grade education which their OWN COUNTRIES should have been responsible for. Not satisfied with that, though, they demand a university education which many of our own citizens struggle to receive. There are a limited number of openings available in universities. These illegals and their advocates believe that they should displace American students by competing for those limited available spots. Unbelievable!! I don’t know any other country in the world that would put up with this insanity. And once again the pro-illegals believe they are taking the “moral high ground” by putting foreign nationals in front of their own fellow American citizens. God help us if this is going to be the mindset of the supposed new majority in this country’s future. Putting one’s own ethnic kind (even those illegally in our country) above the best interests of this country and the rest of Americans?

  • Avatar
    Alessandra
    March 18, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Laura, random people cannot just wander into any country they chose to at will in Europe and receive a “free” tax-payer funded education; their universities accept foreign students as ours do. To suggest that anyone from anywhere be able to receive a tax-payer funded higher education in this country–all they have to do is make it across the borders or overstay a visa–is a little far-fetched in my opinion. These folks are already receiving a publicly-funded preschool through 12 education as it is.
    I don’t know about all the countries in Europe, but the ones I do know about have very high standards for admissions into university. Their children are tested in the 8th grade; it is a rigorous standardized test and if they do not receive the required score, they are put into a vocational program or other non-academic program, no argument. The freedom of choice and flexibility is not there as it is here as when the government (taxpayers) pay for something, they also make the rules.
    Here a person can be a late-bloomer, or for personal or emotional reasons get bad grades in school, but get their act together later in life. They can then apply for student aid, loans, grants, scholarships, etc., and go to college. I have a couple of friends like that who were kind of confused in high school, joined the military after school and straightened out and then went on to college. Community college is affordable. I graduated from a good college not too long ago and, although it did require a lot of discipline and effort, I got through with scholarships, loans, working two jobs, and a little bit of financial aid. I agree with controlling tuition costs, I am just saying that I would rather maintain the freedom of personal choice even if it means having to work a little harder to attain that education.
    As far as the in-state tuition for those here illegally, I have mixed feelings. I do have empathy for those kids who were brought here as children. Through no fault of their own they were placed in a difficult position. However, like I said, they have already received a public education which they might not have received in their native countries depending on where that is. I just can’t help thinking that this is just one more magnet for illegal entry into our country if people know that their children will be able to attend university here as well as the preschool through 12. Also, each university has a limited number of spots available. So that means that our own citizens would have to compete for these spots with those who are in our country illegally.

  • Avatar
    Lu
    March 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Aside from the contradictory “rule of law”, let’s-not-find-a-solution attitude of those commenting against the DREAM Act, the argument that this is “free education” is factually wrong. I don’t know if it’s a reading comprehension problem, lack of familiarity with the process of applying for financial aid, or a case of “seeing what they want to see.”
    As someone else mentioned, in-state tuition is not free, it’s between $15-$20k per year which these students would pay out of their own pocket. The DREAM Act does NOT provide financial aid. So, potentially these students would be funding the education of their peers. They are already doing it in the states that currently grant them in-state tuition. It is quite possible that undocumented students are funding the education of the children of those who oppose the DREAM Act. Ironic, isn’t it?
    Plus, the DREAM Act is not just about being able to go to college, but receiving the legal status that will allow these students to put their knowledge to work. I guess some people don’t want an educated, productive workforce.

  • Avatar
    Hissy
    March 18, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    I am re-thinking my stand on this issue. I have read all the comments and decided to read more about this program. I may change my mind about these students…I see that they MUST be good students and not have been in any trouble…seems unfair to let them get so far and then put a blocker.

  • Avatar
    Idler
    March 18, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Laura, your position is unrealistic and you react with personal hostility when your fool’s paradise is exposed for what it is.
    It’s this simple: the government does not have unlimited resources and it exists to serve its citizens.
    nobody begrudges people legally making their way. I would be surprised if any of the “antis” here didn’t have friends who are immigrants. I’m an immigrant myself and I don’t understand arguments that the law should apply to some and not others.
    I’m no expert on European education but I seriously doubt that a European universities hand out scholarships to any one who applies to be matriculated, regardless of citizenship.
    I happen to be in favor of state paid higher education, but only for people who meet high academic standards. The U.S. government cannot afford to give everybody a free college education. Frankly, college is a major racket. A small fraction of the people who currently go to college really ought to. Unfortunately, the secondary education system is so lousy that a college degree stands in for a high school diploma.

  • Avatar
    Carolina
    March 18, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I think the DREAM Act is a wonderful idea. Isn’t attending college a significant sign of assimilation? of committing to this country and wanting to be an American? of these Latinos rising up and becoming part of the middle class, not the underclass like many others? I am not condoning illegal immigration, but we shouldn’t fault these students for what their parents did. I think it is a terrible idea to hold back their potential.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 19, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Lu said: “Plus, the DREAM Act is not just about being able to go to college, but receiving the legal status that will allow these students to put their knowledge to work. I guess some people don’t want an educated, productive workforce.”
    Failing to impose upon the citizens the requirement to subsidize an illegal alien child will have very little impact on the work force, as their numbers are claimed to be small. If such illegal aliens are permitted to stay, and do find a job, contrary to our laws, they can work at some blue collar job just as many citizens do. It’s a false premise that everyone in this country is entitled to a college education. It’s also a false assertion that anyone who fails to obtain one will have no future. As they are not citizens, but the product of illegal aliens who, by the very nature of their act, they had no reasonable expectation of permanent residency. If this doesn’t seem fair to them, perhaps they should take that up with their parents. I feel no responsibility for assuring that illegal alien Mexicans or other Latin Americans stay in this country or prosper here, just as I wouldn’t expect that we’d give special privileges to foreign visitors on vacation or the children of diplomats. Their futures lie with the governments of their homelands which have the responsibility for the welfare of their nationals.

  • Avatar
    Lea Ortiz
    March 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Well, I did not fully understand this Dream Act.
    First let me say that feeling disappointment in my view does not evoke emotions on my part. Having another view from yours is American, and is what makes our country great.
    While I agree that ANY person that has served this country deserves anything and everything that any soldier would get. Including honor, and yes legal status. I am mixed about the educational part of it. It sounds like amnesty in return for education. I misunderstood that this was a free education. Though I know you all don’t excuse Republicans for anything, even though we too are Americans with a voice.
    I will end in saying this: More hispanic and latin families are based on conservative values, something I have seen people try to explain on this site. Conservative family values, conservative moral values, with a love of children and family and life.
    Don’t mistake what a political party offers without questioning it. The Republican party is the party of conservatism. The democratic party is the party of liberalism, the party of anything and everything is okay. I know for a fact the majority of ethnics do not believe in liberalism.
    As for the times of slavery. That was a much different era that can not be compared to the current problems we now have.
    The blacks that were brought here, were brought against their will. Anyone coming here now is walking into it with eyes wide open.
    The voice of reason is not what you are looking for.

  • Avatar
    Panchito
    March 21, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Lea,
    I’m a Hispanic, patriotic American and I have conservative values but, unlike you, I will not align myself to a political party that has been overtaken by extremists and have declared war on all Hispanics – legal and illegal. You and some of your Republican friends claim they are only against illegal immigrants but the facts are that Republican pundits have been very successful at putting a Hispanic face to the evils of crime, terrorists, drug traffickers, government handout recipients, and border crossers. Your effort to try to sell the Republican Party to Hispanics is a shameless betrayal to yourself, your mother and your father. For my part, I will fight their evil deeds till the day I die. And I will take my revenge where it hurts them most – in the voting booth.

  • Avatar
    Lea Ortiz
    March 23, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Panch,
    The Republican party is not the party of extremists. Nobody has declared as you say war on all Hispanics. By saying that, you are trying to vilify a group of people as Marisa says that I am trying to do. Nothing could be more wrong.
    I am not trying to sell anything to anyone. All I said is that people should and can think for themselves.
    As long as your hatred for the Republican party exists you will be going around in circles wanting illegal immigration and at the same time protection from drug cartel.
    I will vote for whomever has my values and best interests at heart. Be that a Democrat or Republican.
    I am surprised that Marisa allows such a hate filled posts as yours towards a fellow latina. THIS FOLKS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO POINT OUT.
    No amount of trying to reason with you will make a difference anyway. Go ahead and wallow in the Democratic think of bad us poor you.
    Where was my original post to this thread. You can find it at “Right In A Left World” where I posted it.
    Freedom of speech, ain’t it great? That is why I love America.
    Revenge and hatred is not why I vote. I vote for myself, my husband, my children, and my grandchildren, and for the good of our country. Neither Obama nor McCain embodies that.
    “Your effort to try to sell the Republican Party to Hispanics is a shameless betrayal to yourself, your mother and your father.”
    WOW!

  • Avatar
    Irma
    March 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    In my line of work – education, we want the best REGARDLESS of where they were born. Seems to me, it makes sense to
    educate the brightest out there REGARDLESS of where they were born.
    By the way guys, these days I find that the
    best and the brightest are no longer American. They come from Asia or Europe.
    Why not give these bright Latinos American
    citizenship and help restore American
    academics?

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    March 23, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Irma, yes the best is welcome no matter where they are from. You call the uneducated Mexicans that crawl over our border every day “the best”? Surely you jest!
    If American education has declined, who would be mainly responsible for that decline given that the NEA is a leftist organization and the teacher’s unions pretty much call the shots in education and have for the past 40 years.
    Putting that fact aside, riddle me this, Irma: if Latin America produces such brilliance, why don’t these brilliant people remain in Latin America to improve the conditions there instead of coming here to take spots that American students should have? We’ll try to limp along here somehow without them. We have enough of our own talent, along with those who come here legally.
    You and yours really think we are stupid, don’t you? It’s not just the extremely talented who would get legalization from the DREAM ACT. In-state tuition would just force American students, including LEGAL Hispanic students, to compete with illegals for limited class space. Nice try, razas.

  • Avatar
    Hissy
    March 24, 2009 at 2:57 am

    The moral character might be a reason for the brightest being Asian. You don’t see many single teen Asian mothers of two and three kids as normal.

  • Avatar
    Karen
    March 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    The Dream Act would not give illegal immigrants money for college. It just allows those who qualify to get an education. Furthermore, the majority of illegal immigrants who would qualify for the Dream Act are not even Latino. They are Asian.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 27, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Karen -” The Dream Act would not give illegal immigrants money for college.”
    Oh yes it would. That’s another example of gelatinous thinking common to people like Karen. Who do you think sacrifices that money that would otherwise be collected from those who would pay out of state tuition, as illegal aliens and out of staters currently do? Doh! Every in-stater has part of his tuition subsidized, so your DREAM Act would make me pay for your illegal alien friends too.
    How about this Karen, you and your friends pay into a fund for illegal aliens to make up the difference between the cost of in and out of state students, leave the rest of us out of your personal charity and we’ll forget about the DREAM Act. I see no need for the rest of us to pay to soothe your conscience.
    I

  • Avatar
    Karen
    March 30, 2009 at 12:56 am

    To Horace: The parents of illegal immigrants pay taxes and their labor subsidizes YOU. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t understand basic economics.
    Labor creates wealth, and the labor these immigrants perform creates wealth that subsidizes the public university system. In CA, agriculture, a 100 billion dollar industry, is subsidized by illegal immigrant labor.
    Anyway, I have a feeling the Dream Act will create more soldiers than students.

  • Avatar
    Panchito
    March 30, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Karen says: “Anyway, I have a feeling the Dream Act will create more soldiers than students.”
    You are correct Karen. Mexican kids may not speak English very well but they can shoot straight and follow orders. The Army and Marines love to put them in the “front lines” as Infantry. Unlike other ethnic groups who would rather be cooks and clerks.

  • Avatar
    cat
    July 1, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I am praying the dream act passes. my husband came from El salvadore as a child..he has been here 16 years..he has mastered the english language, obtained his P.H.D in chemsitry, has been paying taxes with a valid work permit(for the past ten years)..he has tps..and would have to leave the U.S to go back to his “home country” to obtain a visa..problem is..This is my husbands home country..this is the only country he knows..he has a respectable job, pays taxes, has never been in trouble with the law, and has obtained a doctorate in his field..he currently teaches chemistry at the university he graduated from..HE IS AN AMERICAN

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