NASFAA Joins Higher Ed Associations Advocating Passage of DREAM Act
NASFAA joined 25 other higher education organizations to advocate lawmakers to pass the DREAM Act in Sept 2010 as part of the annual Department of Defense authorization bill.
In a letter to Senate leaders, the higher education associations assert that the DREAM Act would make the future brighter for students who have worked hard, aspire to do more, and in whom this nation has already invested a great deal of resources.
The bill would allow states to decide whether to extend in-state tuition to undocumented students, though it does not require them to take any particular action. It would also establish a six-year conditional permanent residency status for students who were brought to this country before the age of 16, have been here at least five years as of the enactment date, graduate from a U.S. high school or obtain a GED credential, and meet other requirements. DREAM-eligible individuals may qualify for permanent residency after six years by completing at least two years of higher education or military service.
This bill is designed to focus on the special case of undocumented young people who came to this country because of the actions of their parents. Many of them have no ties or even memories of the countries from which they came, the letter contends.
"The DREAM Act is an important tool for achieving our national goal of returning the United States to world leadership in higher education attainment," the letter from American Council on Education (ACE) President Molly Corbett Broad states. "These students often have to overcome significant barriers to graduate from high school, and we cannot afford to stymie their aspirations to continue their education and contribute to our economy and society."