LatinaLista — What happens when state legislators targeting undocumented immigrants decide to penalize the kids as well by not allowing them to pay in-state tuition for college?
A school counselor comes to the rescue.
A story out of Colorado tells how 10 undocumented students who wanted to go to college but couldn’t afford the out-of-state tuition got help from their school counselor to attend college in New Mexico â€” at in-state tuition rates.
The students will be attending the University of New Mexico.
New Mexico doesn’t have any laws on the books that prohibits undocumented students from receiving an education at in-state tuition rates.
We’re not quite sure how the school counselor, Isabel Thacker, was able to do this for her students but it’s a testament to the fact that not everyone believes that punishing the kids is the brightest future for any state or the nation.
Maybe that’s why the Pentagon came out in favor of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, Education for Alien Minors Act), or why Senator Durbin, along with Senators Chuck Hagel and Richard Luger added the Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that was supposed to get voted on today in the Senate.
U.S. Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) have offered the DREAM Act as an amendment to H.R. 1585, the Department of Defense (DoD) Authorization bill. The DREAM Act opens a path for students who attend college for two years or serve in the military for two years to obtain their legal immigration status.
The DREAM ACT would provide a 6-year path to legal status starting after high school graduation for undocumented individuals brought to the U.S. as children more than 5 years ago. To qualify for legal status, they would have to demonstrate good moral character and within the 6-year period either graduate from community college, complete two years towards a four-year degree, or serve at least two years in the U.S. military.
Over 65,000 immigrant students who have been raised in the United States and whose families pay taxes need, but do not have, a legal mechanism to remain here. The DREAM Act will enable them to adjust their immigration status and contribute their education to the nation’s benefit.
(Source: ImmigrationProf Blog)
But after a full night of filibustering of the Levin-Reed Iraq redeployment bill in the Senate chamber, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the entire Defense Authorization bill from consideration on the Senate floor.
Because Republicans continue to block votes on important amendments to the Defense Authorization bill, we can make no further progress on Iraq and this bill at this time.
For these reasons, I have temporarily laid aside the Defense Authorization bill and have entered a motion to reconsider.
Chances are the bill won’t be revisited in time before school starts but there is a stronger hope that it will be resurrected long before the full immigration reform bill will be.
In the meantime, we can only hope Congress gets their act together so others can start on having a future.