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Understanding the Dream Act Professors Jesus Diaz-Caballero and Scott Hopkins.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding the Dream Act Professors Jesus Diaz-Caballero and Scott Hopkins."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding the Dream Act Professors Jesus Diaz-Caballero and Scott Hopkins

2 The Dream Act gives access to higher education and citizenship for undocumented students

3 “Something that we can do immediately is to pass the Dream Act… I don’t want two classes of citizens in this country ” ObamaSupportstheDreamAct

4 OBAMA SUPPORTS THE DREAM ACT  "One last point I want to make on the immigration issue because we may be moving to different topics: Something that we can do immediately that I think is very important is to pass the Dream Act, which allows children who through no fault of their own are here but have essentially grown up as Americans, allow them the opportunity for higher education. “I do not want two classes of citizens in this country.” “I want everybody to prosper. That's going to be a top priority.”

5 Summary  The Dream Act is bipartisan legislation that addresses the tragedy of young undocumented students who grew up in the United States and have graduated from our high schools, but whose future is limited by our current immigration laws.  The “DREAM Act” would also provide access to financial aid for higher education, ability to legally work and citizenship.

6 According to the 2009 version of the bill DREAM Act beneficiaries must have :  Proof of having arrived in the United States before age 16. age 16.  Proof of residence in the United States for a least five (5) consecutive years since the date of their arrival. five (5) consecutive years since the date of their arrival.  Must be between the ages of 12 and 35 at time of bill enactment.  Have graduated from an American high school, or obtained a GED.  Complete two years of college or military service.  Have “good moral character.”

7 DREAM Act Results  Permit qualifying immigrant students in the U.S. to apply for temporary legal status and to eventually obtain permanent status and become eligible for U.S. citizenship.  Eliminate a federal provision that penalizes states that provide in-state tuition without regard to immigration status.  The DREAM Act would have a life-changing impact on the students who qualify, dramatically improving their ability to attend college.

8 Why the DREAM Act?  About 65,000 undocumented children who have lived in the United States for five years or longer graduate from high school each year.  Although they can legally attend most colleges, they are not eligible for most forms of financial aid.  Because of the barriers to their continued education and their exclusion from the legal workforce, only a fraction of undocumented high school graduates go to college.  The DREAM Act would provide 360,000 undocumented high school graduates with a legal means to work and attend college.

9 Why the DREAM Act?  Will also provide incentives for another 715,000 youngsters between the ages of 5 and 17 to finish high school and pursue postsecondary education.  Their potential contributions over the course of their lifetime would overshadow the small additional investment in their education beyond high school.  Given the opportunity to receive additional education and move into better-paying jobs, undocumented students would pay more in taxes and have more money to spend and invest in the U.S. economy.

10 Undocumented Migration: Facts & Figures  As of 2008, 11.9 million undocumented immigrants lived in the United States.  About three-quarters (76%) of the nation’s undocumented immigrant population are Hispanics.  Most children of undocumented immigrants—73% in 2008—are U.S. citizens by birth.  Approximately 2 million children are in the United States as undocumented immigrants.

11 Undocumented Migration: Based on 11.9 Million  Mexico (59%)  Central America (11%)  the Caribbean (4%)  South America (7%)  Middle East (less than 2%)  Asia (11%)

12 States with Largest Undocumented Immigrant Populations

13 Estimated Unauthorized Immigrant Population by State

14 Foreign - born Population by Legal Status

15 Undocumented Children Of the 5.5 million children of unauthorized immigrant parents, 73% or 4 million are citizens by birth. 1.5 million could potentially benefit from the DREAM Act.

16 DEMOGRAPHIC ECHO  More than 70 million people in the United States are recent immigrants or the children of immigrants.  The children of immigrants are now the fastest-growing sector of the child population in the United States.  More than 80 percent of the population growth over the next generation in the United States will be via migration — especially the children of immigrants.

17 1982: Plyler v. Doe  The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a Texas law which authorized school districts to bar undocumented students from public elementary and secondary schools.  The Court noted that this law would impose a “lifetime of hardship on a discrete class of children not accountable for their disabling status.”  Undocumented student access to elementary and secondary education is protected by the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. All children, including undocumented children, can attend public elementary and secondary school free of charge.  Plyler did not address the question of postsecondary education.

18 2001: What is AB 540?  It is a California law that allows all qualifying students, including U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants, a waiver of the non-resident tuition requirements.  Undocumented students who meet the requirements of AB 540 pay the equivalent of in-state tuition at all public colleges and universities in California.  AB 540 does not create eligibility for state or federal financial aid.  AB 540 does not create a path to change immigration status.

19 Who qualifies for AB 540?  Students who have attended a high school in California for three or more years.  They must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent of a high school diploma (e.g., passed the GED, or CA H.S. Proficiency Exam).  They must register or currently be enrolled in a campus of one of the three state institutions of higher learning (Community College, Cal State or UC).

20 Who qualifies for AB 540?  They must file an affidavit (a written promise) with the college or university stating that they meet the law’s requirements and that they have filed an application to legalize their immigration status or will do so as soon as they are eligible. This includes students who currently have no path for adjusting their immigration status.  The information a student shares with a college or university is private and protected by federal and state law.

21 What is the cost for an AB 540 student?  In the past, undocumented students were charged out- of-state tuition. AB 540 allows qualified students to be exempt from paying out-of-state tuition, which is equivalent to paying in-state tuition.  The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is significant: California Community Colleges $20/unit (in-state) $173/unit (out-of-state) California State University (per year) California State University (per year) $3,797 (in-state)$13,967 (out-of-state) University of California (per year) University of California (per year) $8,007 (in-state) $28,615 (out-of-state )

22 What are the Common Problems AB 540 Students Face?  Difficulty financing their education.  Administrative difficulties in receiving the AB 540 waiver.  Hostility and discrimination against undocumented students.  Increasingly, due to their immigration status, college graduates who are undocumented lack the ability to find employment where they can utilize their college education.

23 Possible Solutions for Undocumented Students  Federal DREAM Act.  State law to allow AB 540 students to qualify for state financial aid ==> California DREAM Act  Comprehensive immigration reform that creates a realistic and humane path for naturalization.

24 IN-STATE TUITION INITIATIVE StateYear Passed - Law Number Financial Aid Texas 2001 — HB 1403YES California 2001 — AB 540 No Utah 2002 — HB 144 No New York 2002 — SB 7784 No Washington 2003 — HB 1079 No Illinois 2003 — HB 0060 No Oklahoma 2003 — HB 1559 Limited Kansas 2004 — HB 2145 No New Mexico 2005 — SB 582 Yes Nebraska 2006 — LB 239 No

25 What is the DREAM Act’s current status?  On Wednesday October 24, 2007 The Senate rejected an attempt to begin a debate on The DREAM Act. The DREAM Act obtained 52 votes in favor, eight votes short of the 60 needed to defeat a filibuster.  On Thursday, March 26, 2009 The Dream Act was re- introduced in both chambers of congress. Currently the Hispanic Caucus in Congress is delaying a vote on the DREAM Act in order to include it in a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

26 What is the DREAM Act’s current status?  The latest version of the bill introduced on March 26, 2009, has the following requirements: Have arrived here at the age of 15 or under Have arrived here at the age of 15 or under Have lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years Have lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years Graduated from high school Graduated from high school Serve in the military or attend college for at least two years Serve in the military or attend college for at least two years Have good moral character Have good moral character

27 DREAM Act Opponents  "Any time you give an amnesty for people who have broken the law, that gives an incentive for more people to break the law," says Roy Beck, executive director of Numbers USA, an Arlington group that lobbies to reduce immigration.  Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) perceived the bill to be a contradictory message when immigration law embraces the deportation of aliens for illegal entry while at the same time passing legislation permitting illegal aliens attending school to remain in the country indefinitely.

28 DREAM Act Opponents  Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has been one of the loudest voices against the DREAM Act, and actually called for the deportation of illegal immigrant students just a few years ago.  Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has been one of the loudest voices against the DREAM Act, and actually called for the deportation of illegal immigrant students just a few years ago.  Other critics argue that competition for admittance in college will be higher (already competition for college admission is extremely high especially for prestigious institutions) for the minorities living legally in the United States and for the non-minorities as well.  Some feel that the states cannot really afford to lose the out-of-state tuition revenue that could result from allowing illegal immigrants in-state tuition status.

29 DREAM Act Proponents  The primary reason people support the DREAM Act is because they feel it is “un-American” to punish college students so severely for the acts of their parents over which they had no control.  These are children who see this country as their own, and are already integrated into American culture and values.  The bill is not aimed at solving all the issues related with illegal immigration. This bill will only affect a select group of undocumented students.

30 DREAM Act Proponents  There is currently no system in place for naturalization of these alien children, the current system leaves hundreds of thousand of undocumented immigrant children in a state of limbo.  United States advocates meritocracy, rewarding people for their work and their talents. These undocumented students are highly qualified individuals that can contribute to our society and economy.  United States advocates meritocracy, rewarding people for their work and their talents. These undocumented students are highly qualified individuals that can contribute to our society and economy.  Some of these immigrant students are junior leaders, honor roll students, and valedictorians. They are tomorrow's senators, doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, and soldiers.

31 DREAM Act Proponents  Fixing the legal paradox. They have the right to a primary and secondary education and are generally allowed to go on to college, but their economic and social mobility is severely restricted due to their undocumented status.  Proponents argue that after investing so much in their primary and secondary educations, it makes little sense to deprive them of a postsecondary education that will ultimately benefit them and us.

32 DREAM Act Proponents  Plyler ruled that without an education, these undocumented children would become permanently locked into the lowest socioeconomic class.  The rationale of Plyler should be extended to post- secondary education because nowadays it is not enough to hold a high school diploma in order to avoid being disadvantaged.  The DREAM Act will likely reduce the dropout rate of undocumented students.

33 DREAM Act Proponents  A large number of undocumented high school dropouts end up joining street gangs, which further increases federal and local public safe costs.  Since the bill would lead more students to graduate from high school and college, it would also increase tax revenues and reduce government expenses.  Will allow undocumented students to become taxpaying contributors instead of being part of the underground economy.

34 Positive Economic Impact of Undocumented Immigration  Alan Greenspan, former Chairperson of the Federal Reserve of the United States, said to the Committee on Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security on April 30, 2009: “But there is little doubt that unauthorized, that is, illegal, immigration has made a significant contribution to the growth of our economy.” “But there is little doubt that unauthorized, that is, illegal, immigration has made a significant contribution to the growth of our economy.” “ Between 2000 and 2007, for example, it accounted for more than a sixth of the increase in our total civilian labor force.” “ Between 2000 and 2007, for example, it accounted for more than a sixth of the increase in our total civilian labor force.”

35 Positive Economic Impact of Undocumented Immigration “The illegal part of the civilian labor force diminished last year as the economy slowed, though illegals still comprised an estimated 5% of our total civilian labor force.” “The illegal part of the civilian labor force diminished last year as the economy slowed, though illegals still comprised an estimated 5% of our total civilian labor force.” “Unauthorized immigrants serve as a flexible component of our workforce, often a safety valve when demand is pressing and among the first to be discharged when the economy falters.” “Unauthorized immigrants serve as a flexible component of our workforce, often a safety valve when demand is pressing and among the first to be discharged when the economy falters.”

36 Positive Economic Impact of Undocumented Immigration  “If jobs are available, people come,” said Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group in Washington. “If jobs are not available, people don’t come.”  With some 78 million baby boomers expected to retire in the next few decades, it is worth investing in these undocumented youth who have demonstrated the tenacity to complete college or military training, so that they can be prepared to contribute fully to our economy.

37 MARCO FIREBAUGH ( ) AUTHOR OF AB 540 (2001) He was a Democratic member of the California State Assembly from 1998 until 2004.

38 MARCO FIREBAUGH ( ) AUTHOR OF AB 540  Born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico  He received a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a law degree from UCLA.  In his final term in the Assembly, Firebaugh served concurrently as Assembly Majority Leader and Chairman of the California Latino Legislative Caucus.  In his final term in the Assembly, Firebaugh served concurrently as Assembly Majority Leader and Chairman of the California Latino Legislative Caucus.  The bill’s author Marco Firebaugh said that AB 540 intends to give “hard-working California immigrant students an opportunity to achieve their dreams and contribute meaningfully to our society.”

39 Education is a Human Right  Marco Firebaugh said: “AB- 540 was a product of twelve years of work; it took 12 years to get this state of California to say if you are a young person that goes to our public schools, who lives here, who is going to make this their home, who has contributed, who has succeeded, who has excelled we are going to let you study and pay what everybody else that is a California resident pays.”

40 THE DREAM OF THE NEW AMERICANS

41 1.5 GENERATION AND SECOND GENERATION NEW AMERICAN STUDENTS  Born abroad and brought by their parents at an early age to live in the United States, undocumented children are among those youth referred to in academic literature as the “1.5 generation,” because they fit somewhere between the first and second generations.  Born abroad and brought by their parents at an early age to live in the United States, undocumented children are among those youth referred to in academic literature as the “1.5 generation,” because they fit somewhere between the first and second generations.

42 1.5 GENERATION AND SECOND GENERATION NEW AMERICAN STUDENTS  They are not first-generation immigrants because they did not choose to migrate, but neither do they belong to the second generation because they were born and spent part of their childhood outside of the United States. In a sense, they combine two worlds.  They are not first-generation immigrants because they did not choose to migrate, but neither do they belong to the second generation because they were born and spent part of their childhood outside of the United States. In a sense, they combine two worlds.

43 1.5 GENERATION AND SECOND GENERATION NEW AMERICAN STUDENTS  Their origins include the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa. Although they may have some association with their countries of birth, their primary identification is informed by their experiences growing up in the United States.

44 1.5 GENERATION AND SECOND GENERATION NEW AMERICAN STUDENTS  There is a growing number of 1.5 and second-generation children born to unauthorized parents and raised in the United States. Along with the native-born and the immigrant children under the age of eighteen, they number five million.

45 Dream Act Activism

46 DREAM Act Activism  Most adults in the community believed that it was better that U.S. citizen advocates fight it out in the trenches and save undocumented students from the potential dangers of speaking out publicly.  Support from community members, teachers, or others with resources is often a critical factor in motivating undocumented students towards educational attainment and civic engagement.  The current anti-immigrant climate in the United States keeps many undocumented students hidden and underground.

47 Dream Act Activism  DREAM Act advocacy work gives many unauthorized students a means to participate in the political process around a matter of direct relevance to them.

48 DREAM Act Activism  Students became involved in activities on the ground: contacting legislators, professors, mobilizing their various communities, and staging public actions.  Students became involved in activities on the ground: contacting legislators, professors, mobilizing their various communities, and staging public actions.

49 DREAM Act Activism  These young organizers realize that within the community there is a general lack of information among families and even school officials about the rights that undocumented students have to pursue higher education.

50 DREAM Act Activism  Not only are many unaware of in-state tuitions laws, like California's Assembly Bill 540, but many do not even know whether undocumented students are allowed to go on to post-secondary education.

51 United We Dream


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