Dream Act: Should illegal-immigrant college students have path to citizenship?
As Congress is set to vote on a key immigration-reform issue, some college students are talking openly about their immigration status.
As Times correspondent Diana Marcum reports, the public discussion about immigration status comes as Congress is discussing the Dream Act, which would help college students earn citizenship:
The student body president at Cal State Fresno. The drum major at UCLA. Student senators, class presidents, team captains and club officers at community colleges. Scores of student leaders across California are illegal immigrants who came to this state as children. With Congress expected to vote as early as this week on immigration reform that would give these students a pathway to legal status, a new generation of scholars who were raised in California but not born here are shedding their secrecy and speaking about their lives.
The Dream Act would give legal residency to immigrants who arrived before the age of 16, resided in the U.S. for at least five years, graduated from high school and completed two years of college or honorable military service. They would be subject to background checks and could not have a criminal record. Even if granted residency, they would not be eligible for federal grant scholarships. When enacted, the law would apply to those under 35.
What do you think Congress should do? Share your views below.
Photo: Illegal immigrant and UCLA student David Cho prepares for a radio message at Entravision Radio. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times