Tell your members of Congress to support the DREAM Act!
Each year, more than ten thousand undocumented students graduate high school in the United States, many of whom have lived in the US since childhood. Following the 1982 Supreme Court decision in Plyer v. Doe, it has been the law of the land that public elementary and secondary schools must provide a free and appropriate education to all children, regardless of their legal status. However, undocumented students seeking to enroll in postsecondary education face often insurmountable legal and financial obstacles as a result of inconsistencies in federal law.
Tuition equity policies adopted by some states allow certain undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates at the state's public colleges and universities. Generally, these students must have lived in the state for a certain amount of time and have graduated from an in-state high school. Because undocumented students are ineligible to receive federal student aid, and because they frequently come from low-income backgrounds, out-of-state tuition rates can put higher education firmly out of reach for undocumented students. Thus, tuition equity is an important step in helping these students afford college. Some states have gone one step further by granting undocumented students access to state financial aid. Unfortunately, some states have taken the opposite route by severely limiting undocumented students' abilities to enroll in public higher education, or have introduced proposals to roll back existing tuition equity policies.
The DREAM Act, a piece of federal legislation that has languished in Congress for decades, would resolve this situation by providing a path to higher education and citizenship for qualified students. However, Congressional inaction on this measure has led to decades of bickering and, more recently, protracted political and court battles over DACA, a temporary measure introduced during the Obama administration to provide a measure of relief for these students. NACAC believes that Congress should do the right thing and pass the DREAM Act to provide a permanent legal solution for this ongoing humanitarian crisis. Send a message to your members of Congress and encourage them to support the DREAM Act now!