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The DREAM Act will allow the opportunity to approximately 65,000 illegal immigrant students natiowide the opportunity to pursue a higher education. Help make education available to everyone by supporting the DREAM Act.

Letter to
U.S. House of Representatives
According to the Migration Policy Institute, in 2009 about 38,517,104 in the population were estimated to be foreign born. Of this number, 23.2 percent of all children have at least one foreign born parent. Of children with at least one foreign born parent, 14.4 percent are also foreign born. According to Child Trends Databank, approximately 24 percent of foreign born children are high school drop outs. According to the US Census Bureau, only 3.4 percent of foreign born children will enroll in a degree seeking institution. Statistics show that foreign born children comprise a substantial percentage of the child population. Of these foreign born children, not all of them graduate high school, fewer of them enroll into a degree seeking institution, and even fewer continue to graduate from college.

Many of these foreign born students are brought to the US by their parents when they are young, often without a choice. They often do not have the opportunity to pursue higher education for reasons such as legal status, paying out-of-state tuition even though they are in-state residents, ineligibility for student loans, federal aid, and scholarships. Not only is their legal status a hindrance, but also financial barriers are put into place.

The DREAM Act can change this. It allows young people of “good moral character” to become legal US residents after spending two years enrolled in college or the military or after earning a high school diploma or GED. It only applies to those who have been in the country for at least five years before turning 16 years of age and are under 35 years of age. Applicants become permanent residents on a conditional basis of up to 6 years. This allows foreign born students the ability to apply for student loans, federal work-study programs, and other services provided to the armed services. This makes a higher education more available to foreign born students. About 65,000 U.S.-raised students graduating from high school each year qualify for the DREAM Act’s benefits.

I am writing to ask you to support the DREAM Act. This Act helps educate thousands of students nationwide. While many people mislabel this as an act of amnesty, it is an erroneous claim because the DREAM Act is only available to a small margin of the population. Also, students are generally not applicable for Pell grants and other federal grants, only student loans and work-study, so it does not take away from funds available to legal citizens. Besides education, students also are able to enlist in the army. The act is supported by both the Department of Defense and Department of Education.

The DREAM Act allows for migrant students to pursue their education. It is with the youth that our future lies, so it is necessary that you make an education available to them.

Thank you for your attention and I look forward to hearing from you,

Ariel Duran
Resident Assistant
President, Hispanic Cultural Association
President, Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society
Mount St. Mary’s University

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