Why did Justice for Students in America take on the Maryland Dream Act?
We, Justice for Students in America, made a vow to stand up for what is right-- for what is just. After Jorge Steven Acuña's case, still not resolved, we recognized the need for our community and youth to become aware of cases where students are dehumanized. Throughout Steven's case, discrimination, racism, and prejudice toward undocumented students became evident. "Let him get deported... he should get sent back..." were common arguments we heard. While at the same time, a 3.8 GPA, hard-working, tax-paying student lay handcuffed in a maximum security cell.
Certain community leaders have created efforts to dehumanize these hard-working, tax paying, college bound students. They even frame it as a ‘Hispanic immigrant’ issue. Digging deeper into the subject, one realizes that it does not only encompass Hispanic students-- it shelters all ethnicities. Still, many frame it as a Hispanic issue--an issue of getting these immigrants out of the United States. As time passes though, companies get richer by blaming and deporting these hard-working students and families. The real problem rests in how big their pockets get and how our economy is negatively affected. Allowing these multi-ethnic students an education encompasses a growth in our economy, creation of educational opportunities, and an end to injustices such as discrimination and racism.
Many fail to see the detrimental effects of depriving MILLIONS of students a higher education; of closing the doors to a person's future-- while also dehumanizing them. The argument does not rest in these students taking away our jobs or tearing down our economy. The real argument is, “how long are we going to let this discrimination and dehumanization of hard-working students continue?” How long are we going to keep losing the great potential these students carry--students that only wish to better themselves and better the country which they have grown to call a home? How long?
Justice for Students in America advocates against racism and discrimination. We fight for the ideals of the American Country where a hardworking, tax-paying, honest civilian has the absolute right to prosper and better the country he calls a home. Statistics and studies demonstrate why this is the right thing to do, but it is important that we do not outsmart our own reason… The simple truth is, if we do not support the Maryland Dream Act, we are throwing millions of youth into the streets, depriving them of an education and hindering progress in our state and country. The United States, built upon giving immigrants the opportunity to push us forward, has thrived on opportunity. For this reason, Justice for Students in America has taken on supporting the passage of the Maryland Dream Act on November 6.
On this July 4th, the United States will be turning 236 years old. In only 236 years, we have become one of the most quick to prosper nations in the world. We have built our infrastructure through the hands of immigrants and developed because of this common sentiment to strive for excellence through freedom. We are a nation pushed forward by the thirst of justice, equality, and freedom. We are a nation of ideals, morals, and freedom. Let's maintain these ideals and work together to allow the millions of hard-working students which call their home the great United States of America.
Help us Spread this Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/all-eligible-maryland-voters-vote-yes-on-the-maryland-dream-act-november-6
Register to Vote: http://www.elections.state.md.us/
Email your local politicians to support: www.mdelect.net
"The U.S. paid $5 billion in just one year for the deportation costs of fewer than 400,000 illegal immigrants (less than 4% of the current illegal population in the country). Add that to the cost of providing medical care to illegal immigrants and the cost of educating the children of illegals and pretty soon you’re talking about some serious money.
Using the estimate of $12,500 per person, it would cost $137.5 billion dollars to deport each and every illegal presently in the country. But of course, even if you deport a large majority of the illegal immigrants, unless we really make a serious effort to secure our border, many of them will come back.
Just how much plain brick and mortar fencing and how many extra border patrol agents could we purchase with that $5 billion a year?"
Answer Coalition (www.answercoalition.org)
"The irony is that if one were to ask Marylanders whether they support in-state tuition for high school students who are residents of Maryland, and who are accepted to a public college, the answer would be a resounding, "Yes!"
But the right wing, led in this case by Republican Del. Neil Parrot (District 2B), with the assistance of known racist Republican Del. Pat McDonough (District 7) and other anti-immigrant politicians, have used their petition to play into anti-immigrant stereotypes and racist attitudes. They use the age-old strategy of depicting immigrants as underhanded and stealing from the people born in the United States.
Anti-immigrant racists always blame undocumented immigrants for the crisis of capitalism. The reality, however, is that the economy is stronger because of what immigrants bring to it. Maryland has benefited economically from the hard work of immigrants, both documented and undocumented – who often work extreme hours under difficult conditions for low pay, to provide services that everyone enjoys.
These racist politicians and organizations have decided to make undocumented Maryland high school students their focus for the moment by demonizing them, and attempting to make college financially out of reach. Out-of-state tuition would make college inaccessible for many immigrant families.
They claim that $3.5 million would be "saved" between now and 2016 if this law does not go into effect. However, the Dream Act is not a scholarship program. It does not mean the state will be spending resources to pay for students to attend college. The law would simply allow more students to pay an in-state rather than an out-of-state rate – students who would not be able to afford to attend college at the higher rate.
The racist forces behind this petition fail to acknowledge that it is U.S. neo-liberal policy overseas, such as NAFTA, that has created such extreme economic hardship for so many abroad, which has led to an influx of migrants seeking better opportunity here. They have also ignored the fact that Maryland-residing immigrants will pay state and local taxes – taxes that will amount to $275 million in 2011."
Let's give these children the opportunity to help the American Economy, and instead of using this money to deport them let's fix the real problem, securing our borders.