Claremont Expresses Support for DREAM Act
As many religious groups take action to affirm the humanity of undocumented aliens, Claremont School of Theology expresses its support for part 2 of the California Dream Act, which is one step closer to reaching Governor Brown’s desk. We also support passage of a federal version of the DREAM Act and urge both houses of Congress to pass it.
First introduced in 2001, the federal DREAM Act is bi-partisan legislation that would open the possibility of higher education, as well as a conditional pathway to U.S. citizenship, for undocumented students who were brought to the United States as minor aliens (before their 16th birthday). The Act would require such students, sometimes known as "the Dreamers", to complete a college degree or two years of military service in order to be granted temporary residency and then be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.
At Claremont School of Theology, we believe that the DREAM Act represents an act of national compassion to a small group of young people caught in a situation that is not of their own making. In many cases, the United States is the only home they can remember: where they were educated, learned English, and got high school jobs. For this population, deportation means being delivered to a truly foreign country with little or no family support.
Current regulations in higher education and immigration law prohibit the Dreamers who have never known a home other than the United States from applying for federal and state financial assistance so they can continue into higher education like their peers in American high schools. This "catch 22" unfairly limits the opportunities, dreams, and future of these wonderful young people.
Failure to pass the federal DREAM Act virtually ensures that the Dreamers remain in poverty, out of colleges, and working outside the legitimate workforce. Passing the DREAM Act offers an opportunity for higher education, citizenship, and contributions to the tax-paying work force—and society in general—for the betterment of the Dreamers and the United States.
This transcends a simple political issue; it should be a matter of conscious to all Americans who themselves enjoy the benefits of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and who believe in treating others the way they would like to be treated. We urge you to join us in our commitment to this act of national compassion.
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