PA Senate and House: Pass the Pennsylvania DREAM ACT
We need YOUR help to pass the Pennsylvania DREAM Act. We urge you to contact your local state representatives and pressure them to vote YES on Senate Bill 713 when it is presented in front of them. Please sign the petition below to ensure that your elected officials get an email urging them to pass this important piece of legislation.
What is it?
The Pennsylvania DREAM Act will provide undocumented young adults who have graduated from a high school in Pennsylvania, or have a GED certificate, the opportunity to pay in-state tuition rates at public institutions of higher learning in Pennsylvania.
Juntos DREAMers, along with other youth in the state and the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition (PICC), met with Senator Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster, PA) to draft the initial language of the bill and ensure that it is for and by the community that will be most affected.
Why is it important?
At Juntos and PICC, we see education as a human right. Access to education should be fair and equitable, regardless of your immigration status. Undocumented students with high school diplomas and GED certificates from Pennsylvania are frequently charged 3-4 times more than the in-state tuition rate when they apply to college. This is unjust and against the fundamental value of equality upon which this country was founded.
State DREAM Acts have already passed in 13 other states, providing huge economic benefits to public institutions.
- A 2011 study from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board showed that in 2010, the state had a net financial gain of approximately $11 million from tuition and fees paid by undocumented students.
- According to a 2012 report by the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research, each annual cohort of students who take advantage of the Maryland DREAM Act provides an estimated total net benefit to the economy of approximately $66 million.
- A 2011 review of studies found that state DREAM Acts correlated with a 31% increase in college enrollments among undocumented students and a 14% decrease in high school dropouts among non-citizen Latinos.
Now that the bill has been introduced in Pennsylvania, it is up to us, the people, to pressure our elected officials into making sure that this important piece of legislation passes. Please sign the petition letter below!
The Pennsylvania DREAM Act will give undocumented students the opportunity to transform their lives, while helping the state to transform itself for the better. These youth have grown up in Pennsylvania and their families have already made significant contributions to the state. When these young adults are able to attend and graduate from college, they increase their earning potential, help to build the next generation of bilingual professionals, and are able to contribute more through taxes. This legislation will support our families, our colleges, our businesses, and our communities.
Pennsylvania should follow the example set by 13 other states that have passed DREAM Acts before us, and have seen an increase in high school graduates, increased college enrollment, and major social and economic benefits to public institutions as a result.
I urge you to vote YES on SB 713 and uphold our best values by passing the Pennsylvania DREAM ACT!