The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act ("DREAM Act") is a proposed piece of federal legislation that would grant conditional permanent resident status for a six year period to undocumented students nationwide upon completion of high school or the equivalent. To be eligible, students must demonstrate good moral character, have arrived in the U.S. as children, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment.
As members of one of the leading institutions of higher learning, we must come together to support the DREAM Act. Every year, 65,000 students graduate from high school with little means of attending college. If passed, the DREAM Act could enable these 65,000 of our extremely talented friends, classmates, and family members to strive for the education they worked so hard for. This petition is therefore a call to President Levin to publicly recognize the dream of students both in and outside of Yale's campus by signing on in support of the DREAM Act. Let's act on this dream!
At Yale, we are in a place of profound influence, but with great power and influence comes great responsibility. It is for this reason that we ask you, as the President of Yale University, to sympathize with undocumented students at Yale by signing on in support of the DREAM Act and imploring the need for the immediate passage of the DREAM Act. Through efforts like the Elm City Resident ID Card, New Haven has implemented many progressive changes toward its immigrant residents, and we ask only that Yale do the same for its students and potential applicants. As an enlightened and global institution of learning, Yale must support the education and future of all of its students, regardless of immigration status. Yale can no longer stand idly by while its undocumented students graduate to an uncertain future. There is no better time than now for Yale to take a leading role in this issue. As the leader of this Ivy League institution, we believe you occupy a privileged and respected position in academia, and we urge you to take advantage of your position to help pass this piece of legislation. Furthermore, we call on you to encourage universities across the country to embrace this cause and declare their support for undocumented students. Your public support of the DREAM Act would reverberate around the nation, sending an important message to leaders of other institutions of higher education and, more importantly, calling the attention of policymakers to the importance and urgency of this issue. By joining the group of Ivy League Presidents who support this cause, you also agree to advocate the following individual actions at Yale to build critical support to pass the DREAM Act and make higher education more attainable for undocumented students:
* Release an individual public statement of your support for the DREAM Act;
* Contact representatives and senators in the State of Connecticut to express your support for the DREAM Act;
* Contact the Presidents of peer and neighboring institutions to urge them to publicly support this bill;
* Contact local organizations to build solidarity with their fight for immigrant rights;
* Implement policies that provide undocumented Yale students with the financial resources every other student has available to them, including student jobs, fellowships and internships.
Finally, we would like to propose the formation of a pan-Ivy League committee made up of faculty, students, and administrators from across the universities that dedicated to working toward the passage of the DREAM Act.
We would like to conclude this letter by sharing the perspective of an undocumented student attending Yale College:
“Although I know no other home outside the United States and have never left the U.S. since my arrival twenty years ago, I can be deported from my family and my home at Yale at any given moment. Needless to say, my entire life experience is grounded in the U.S. Because of my status, I have faced numerous obstacles, including my inability to drive, travel, work, study abroad, obtain any state or federal identification, and essentially to take legitimate part in American society. Through no fault of my own, I have been denied many basic human rights that are essential to our understanding of the United States as a liberated nation based on progressive principles. Yale strives to develop in its students the abilities they need to successfully contribute to society, and yet upon my graduation, I will be fully barred both from fulfilling this goal and pursuing my own. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities Yale has given me, and I fully recognize the barriers I have overcome in order to obtain such an astounding education. Nevertheless, it would make me immensely proud of my university if it were to acknowledge and support students like me in this way. My life and the lives of hundreds of thousands of other students are at stake, and I can only imagine the infinite good that can come from your public support.”
We thank you for your time and consideration.
Concerned Yale Students, Faculty and Affiliates
* Statistic from US News Report [http://www.usnews.com/blogs/on-education/2009/04/22/college-board-backs-bill-to-legalize-undocumented-students.html]