In 1996, the federal immigration law was changed denying undocumented students access to federal and state financial aid.
The DREAM Act, which was first introduced in 2003, would have overturned unfair immigration laws. The DREAM Act does NOT change in-state tuition laws by individual states. Since then, the legislation has been held up in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
According to the National Immigration Law Center, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from college each year but in most cases are not able to attend higher education due financial restraint.
The Federal Dream Act would allow access to Federal financial aid if the student:
- Has and maintains good moral character,
- Came to the U.S. at age 15 or younger AND at least 5 years before the date of the bill’s enactment,
- Qualifies for conditional permanent resident status upon acceptance to college, graduation from a U.S. high school, or being awarded a GED.
*If a student meets the above requirements, The DREAM Act would also grant the undocumented student nonimmigrant status upon acceptance to college, graduation from a U.S. high school, or being awarded a GED in the U.S.
MYTHS AND FACTS – FEDERAL DREAM ACT
Myth: US citizens will be pushed out by under qualified and undocumented immigrants
Fact: Undocumented immigrants represent less than 2% of all high school graduates which will not affect access by others. The DREAM act does not include any special privileges for undocumented immigrants; it simply levels the playing field for any undocumented immigrant who meets all of the criteria for higher education. If a student does well in school and qualifies to get into college, then they should be allowed to attend along with their other classmates.
Myth: The DREAM act will be a financial burden for education system
Fact: On average, college graduates earn a million dollars over their lifetime which means more tax dollars to the state.
Myth: The DREAM Act will encourage a flood of undocumented immigrants to enter the United States.
Fact: The DREAM Act only applies to students who moved to the US before the age of 15. Also, the DREAM Act requires that students must have lived in the US for 5 years prior to its enactment.
Proyecto Oportunidad’s organizers empower their communities to support the Federal Dream Act – Get involved sign our petition now!