WEEKEND EDITION

What the DREAM Acts Mean for Undocumented Students: Share Your Thoughts

| May 15, 2012 5:25 AM | Updated: June 15, 2012 3:02 PMvideo

In April, WMHT’s Public Affairs program “New York Now” reported on Yelky Ramos’ efforts to pass the New York State DREAM Act. Ramos came to the United States when she was 13-years-old. She was the valedictorian of her high school and is preparing to graduate from Baruch College with a B.A. in public affairs.

UPDATE: On June 15, President Barack Obama announced a radical policy shift on immigration, which in many ways works around congressional resistance to the federal DREAM Act. Obama’s executive order mandates an end to deportations of, and work permits for, undocumented immigrants under 30 years old, who came to the Untied States before they turned 16 and who have been in the country for at least five years. They must have no criminal record, be a high school graduate or have a GED, or be in school or have served in the military. The work permits will defer the threat of deportation for two years, with the possibility of extensions when they expire. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) says he intends to sue the Obama administration over the policy announcement.

The New York State DREAM Act bill, first introduced in March 2011, would allow undocumented immigrant students who meet certain requirements to receive state Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funds to attend city and state colleges.

While the state bill would address student aid, the federal DREAM Act would provide undocumented youth a path to legal status through public service and allow students to attend college or enter military service. The act passed in the U.S. House in Dec. 2010 but failed in the Senate.

The bill was introduced by Senator Bill Perkins (D-Manhattan) and Assemblyman Guillermo Linares (D-Manhattan). Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn all support the passage of the New York State DREAM Act.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has not taken a position on it but has said he supports the federal version.

Yelky Ramos is a 20-year-old undocumented Bronx resident who will graduate from Baruch College in May with a bachelor’s degree in public affairs. Yelky’s parents brought her to the United States from the Dominican Republic when she was 13, and she has not been able to attain citizenship. Last year, she began speaking publicly about her status as an activist for the New York State DREAM Act.

After Yelky graduates college this month, she hopes to go to graduate school and eventually become a public interest lawyer, but she says that will be difficult.

On May 2, the New York State Assembly passed a bill to establish a DREAM fund, through which people could make private contributions toward private scholarships for undocumented students. Three Republican Assembly members voted against it, claiming it encourages illegal immigration, while immigrant activists say the bill is an empty substitute for the real DREAM Act.

“In my opinion, the DREAM fund is just political games,” said Ramos. “What the DREAM fund technically does is create a bank account, but there’s not much detail about who is going to recover the money or who is going to fundraise.”

So far, 13 states have passed their own versions of the DREAM Act. To be eligible under New York’s version, someone would need to have:

  • Attended a New York high school for two years
  • Enrolled in a college or university in New York State
  • Meet the same requirements for TAP funds as everyone else

While many critics might be sympathetic to undocumented children who grew up in the U.S., they say their problem is that the bill would incentivize illegal border crossing.

“If you are a good parent south of the border right now, you look at this and say well, of course I want to go there, look at the benefits we are going to get,” Assemblyman Dean Murray (R-Suffolk) told the New York Daily News after the DREAM fund was passed, which he and DREAM Act opponents, as well as many DREAM Act supporters in the Assembly, see as the first step toward passing the more powerful bill.

The view that the act would encourage future illegal immigrants is what has prevented various federal versions of the DREAM Act from being passed since the first national DREAM Act was introduced in 2001. The federal version has more teeth than any of the state laws, however. It would grant permanent residency to undocumented students who:

  • Entered the country before they turned 16
  • Graduated high school or obtained their GED
  • Have no criminal record
  • Attend two years of college or two years of military service.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he supports the federal version, but in April he said of the state version, “You have to look at the immigration law federally and you have to look at the cost to the state. Obviously there would be a significant cost to the state. You want to make education as accessible and as affordable as you can, but then you run into a dollar and cents question.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not taken a position at the state version of the DREAM Act. He has said he supports the federal version. AP/Evan Agostini.

In April, a group of undocumented teens walked from New York City to Albany to pressure the governor and legislature to pass the state law.

Heather MacDonald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and editor at City Journal, believes the federal DREAM Act would allow people to qualify for permanent residence, even if they had plead down a felony charge to a misdemeanor before they turned 18. Juvenile misdemeanor conviction records are sealed when someone turns 18, whereas felony juvenile convictions are publicly available throughout someone’s lifetime.

“My objection to the federal DREAM Act is that it is so broadly written that the goal is to extend amnesty as widely as possible, as opposed to rewarding upstanding and responsible behavior on part of young juvenile aliens,” said MacDonald, who also feels the educational requirements are too lax, since they don’t mandate a minimum high school or college GPA.

MacDonald said she’s more comfortable with a version of the federal DREAM Act recently introduced by U.S. Sen. Mark Rubio (R-Florida), which would offer non-immigrant visas to young undocumented immigrants who enroll in college, join the military or work and meet similar conditions to the Democrats’ DREAM Act.

Many immigrant rights activists say it would create a caste of second class citizens, rather than helping undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as children.

“It’s not even temporary visas. It’s just non-immigrant status and that’s not event permanent status,” said Ramos. Immigrant visas, or green cards, provide a path to permanent citizenship, but non-immigrant visas only allow for temporary stays.

Regarding the critics’ fears that the original version of the federal DREAM Act would allow people with criminal records to attain citizenship, Ramos said that if those critics are really concerned they should create more criteria for what constitutes “good moral character,” as the bill puts the requirement.

The elephant in the room is whether any version of the DREAM Act will encourage more illegal border crossing. Due to the economic recession and strict immigration laws in states like Arizona and Alabama, for the first time in over two decades, more immigrants from Mexico are leaving the U.S. than arriving, reported the New York Times.

There has not been a major U.S. immigration reform since 1986, when amnesty was granted to millions of undocumented people, and under the Obama administration, an estimated 400,000 people have been deported annually.

MetroFocus wants to hear your opinion about the DREAM Act.

Join the conversation by sharing your comment, below.  Please enter your name (real or pseudonym if you wish to remain anonymous) and email address (which will not be published).  You can also keep the conversation among Facebook friends by clicking the Facebook  icon, or follow the dialogue on Twitter via #MetroFocus.

Watch MetroFocus for more videos and articles about education in the metropolitan region.

“MetroFocus: Education Innovation” premieres on May 15 at 10:30 p.m. on WLIW21; May 16 at 10:30 p.m. on NJTV; and May 17 at 8:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN.


 

  • taxpayer200

    For anyone in favor of any sort of amnesty for illegals,  look to California today.   Do nothing that would encourage any more illegal immigration.  The California schools are failing under the weight of the children of  the undocumented (illegal aliens)  who have no respect for education.  The Hispanic children are the majority in many of the schools.  Those schools  have a  40% graduation rate and a 53% illegitamacy rate.  The welfare given to anchor babies in LA alone will top 1 billion this year.

    California added 10 million people since 1986 but have only gained 150,000 taxpayers. 

    That’s what illegals do for a state. 

    • ADreamer

      welfare should be only for war veterans, disabled people and old people, not for people who can work! If someone wants a baby, that person must pay from labor to college! Those rules should apply to everyone not just illegals, but government is to blame, we come to this country to work not to steal!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705687465 Garrett T Garrett

        please you wouldnt give it to war veterans either, i was in the va and i watched some kid get his prothesis “repoed” , the selfish mentality doesnt make a difference, and btw dont speak for me , you havent earned that right, youre too busy making sure some young people dont make more of the world around you. 

      • Ed.

        Illegals aren’t allowed to get welfare since it’s government money.  Most people on welfare are African American.

    • ADreamer

      I don’t understand you (legal people) always say illegal don’t pay taxes, how is that? I pay my rent and there are the property taxes, when I buy goods and services they don’t ask if I’m illegal and they charge my taxes, employer takes some money from my check, that I never get back because of my SSN! So what are you talking about?

      • Clark2287

        i make 60.000 a year and pay taxes on it and you are trying to get the same thing  as i

        • ADreamer

          What you talking about? I don’t want anything, I’m saying is that we pay taxes too! I don’t make as much money as you do, but still some money is taking away from my payment!

          • Clark2287

            then why do mexico kick out illegals  and cry when american do it

          • ADreamer

            We leave Mexico because of personal safety, I don’t believe immigrants want to stay in Mexico either! Drug cartels are out of control because of the hugh consumption in this country but that is another subject! We are talking about the dream act, people who want a chance to pay back this wonderful country!

          • Clark2287

            then play by the rules because we the taxes payer are going to pay no matter what you or any body said you still donot pay as much as you  have taking from this country

          • 22

            my family has a god bussines we make 80.000 or more a year we are illegal and we still pay taxes

    • ADreamer

      I hugh number of legal people get food stamps and umployment beneficts, why would they work if the government provides for them?

    • ADreamer

      This country should give the opportunity to illegal people to become legal, and put like a letter in the social security number which means they are not elegible for any social benefict not even unemployment! I’m a student, and I don’t even want financial aid! I can and know how to work, I just want to go to school get my degree, get a driver license and a place to live, all by myself! If the government stops giving all the freebies, illegal people who are gold diggers would leave by themselves! But again this rule should apply to all the people living in this great country, trust there are many abusive and lazy people on the legal side too!

      • “L

        well you have a good point but remember that illegal people came this country to work not to get anything for free and some times they ask for help not cause they cant work  its cause they have kids and  the paycheck is not that helpfull and im glad that you have twohands and can work but remember you only have  to get every thing  for one person yourself wat would be like if you had a wife and 2 kids and were paid 6.50  an hour you cant do much with that kid learn  things are not eazy

    • ADreamer

      Legal and illegal people must stop having so many babies, babies are used to get all the beneficts the government offers (a lot of money on food stamps, hugh tax refunds, etc). These children are not pets. A true parent knows a child needs a lot of time and love, and financial stability, so this responsible parent think twice before having a second child! Must people can have children, but just a few can be called parents!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705687465 Garrett T Garrett

        actually the ignorant need to stop having kids… the bible belt is loaded.

    • ADreamer

      to you comment “that’s what illegals do for a state”, I live in Texas one of the wealthiest state of the nation. As you may know Texas has a lot of illegal immigrants, but It also have several important cities all with increasing economies and development (Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio), as I told you before gold diggers can be legal, not just illegal!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705687465 Garrett T Garrett

        texas can be its own country, if you think about it, im a big fan of texas’ second amendment views. i visited el paso and the border, its a nice state.

    • ADreamer

      Yes, I’m ADreamer. I’m an illegal who wants a chance to show what we can do for this country! Support the dream act please, I don’t want anything free!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705687465 Garrett T Garrett

        i know alot of people that hate the fact its being presented as a handout, when all they want is a shot. step aside and let them live, its freaking paperwork. thats it.

        • Clark2287

          then who is paying for that paper work not them

          • Guest

            Actually, yes they are. Oh

          • Guest

            No they are not in order to file for stuff like DACA you have to get a lawyer and pay for the paper work and a lot of others things, I know this and have been through this. Just like every dreamer I am trying to get an education, and just so you know we pay taxes as well so all of this paperwork is also coming out of our taxes to.

          • Jays_123

            The paperwork IS NOT free. If you don’t have the money to file for it, you simply don’t get to. Do your research before you comment on events you are clearly not familiar with.

      • Lo Troeller

         And I am legal, and feel like an idiot! Are you going to pay for my expenses to become an American legally? And for you, why don’t you go back home, and then take the chance for legal immigration?

        • 22

          well some people came to the country  as little kids and didnt have an option . I think that many people like Adreamer have done more things for this country than people like you that feel like gods for having a paper showing that your legal . I have seen many people that would do anything to be legal and get themselfs a future  in this country and people that can go do many stupid things, thinkthey are not asking for anything free they want to work while many legl people are doing nothing and  just  getting money from the goverment and the people including illegal immigrants!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705687465 Garrett T Garrett

      k – then make them legal, fine them, allow them to have a chance. IF you actually read the dream act you would see that there is a BI and qualifications. so not only do they add to the community, if a small fine was imposed it would make a fair and square. its only fading because they are being kept in that social status, and if they even attempt to self deport they will be rounded in to a private prison, channeling your tax dollars to stockholders of that prison.  and the anchor baby scare is a total myth, they dont give a flying what ever, they;ll deport em all or put the kid to adoption.   WHAT IF THAT KID HAD ONE PARENT THAT WAS A CITIZEN? is it anchorbaby now? think about, try not to be on the outside looking at it, try to think. they’re just like you or I, do you really think people want to live like that? humanbeings, some of which KNOW NOTHING  of the country they came from. FOR DREAMERS- ITS JUST PAPERWORK they want to sort out, they dont want your money or your help- they dont need you to stand, just step aside. latino immigrants are like the AK47 of immigrants- tough and durable. and everyone knows the AK gets more bang for your buck.

    • mayra

      not all “undocumented” people/students ask for welfare … some are just here to study and be in a safe environment, unlike citizens they have to pay for full price when it comes to college also you are just looking at california not the whole nation

  • ADreamer

    I don’t know why they don’t ask for the GPA, this country needs the smartest people doesn’t matter where they come from, that is how the USA became such a great nation! And make it for 18 yrs old and under that is the age elegible to enroll in high school! People who does not support it say we want a free college education, that is not true. I’m thankful for what I got so far, I just want a chance to work so I can pay for the rest of my education! Please support the Dream Act and I don’t want freebies, just a SSN to start building with a strong basement!

    • Guest

      How old are you? If they make it 18 and under by the time you graduate you would be much older. Therefore disqualified. Have you actually read the dream act bill?

  • Guest21

    I am a dreamer! My dream is to go to college, get a job and work for this country. My dream is to live a normal life just like any other citizen in this country. I want to help this country. I want to be part of this country. I do not expect to get these things for free. It was not my fault that I was brought here when I was 5. For 13 years years the U.S has been my home, and my country. This country is all I know. I want to be part of the United States Of America. I am not a bad person, I am not a criminal, I am a normal person who wants to work hard in order to accomplished his goals. I want my dream to come true. I will not live off the government. I will pay my taxes, and give back to the United States. I will do good for myself and for others.  

    • vonnise

      Guest21, Same question as for Adreamer, have you even thought to utilize the existing immigration laws that are on the books now and start the ball rolling to attain legal status for yourself? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705687465 Garrett T Garrett

    Im an Iraq combat veteran. I am 100% for the dream act. I believe these young people deserve a chance, there are many things people dont know- yet claim like they do. Undocumented subsitize our socialsecurity system, and contribute billions to the economy. they pay taxes through irs tax id numbers, sales and property. in the last 10 years republicans noticed this, states adopted az style laws to flow with CCA prisons, those prisons lobby and have stock holds over political members.  furthermore not everyone climbed a fence, some actually tried to file for citizenship, and the status of “legal ” and “illegal’ have been in a constant state of flux. kids get caught up in this, the parties that want to “channel” tax payers money into stockholds, facilitate the dehumanization. all the while some ignorant , who wants to feel a sense of “patriotism” ( which is a political tactic aswell)  feeds the stereotypes of “social leech” or in some way ” getting over” – which is far from the truth. not even americans with all the resources can leech a system. oddly they dont complain about paying israel. these people point the finger on a situation they know nothing about, they view them on the outside looking in. I think its a coward and unbrave thing to target children- maybe thats the soldier in me, but just cause im a republican, doesnt mean i have to agree with every mentality that they are currently doing. chickenhawk leaders, they supported systems that deported a marines wife- how american is that? when presenting facts these people who attack the dream act- use labels ” ‘ amnesty’ and so on, all unfounded. and when cornered, they say “illegal is illegal” – well that same sheep mentality said ‘illegal is illegal” when water fountains were segragated, when women couldnt vote, and so on. the dream act is all american , its the roots of what this country is

    • Clark2287

      you are a moron they broke the law as for paying taxes what about the the taxes that we paid for them to go to school  plus the fact mexico would put you ot of there country why should we be any differant check your facts on what they pay an what they steal from the american peoples

      • ADreamer

        Dreamers want a chance, we don’t want anything for free! The government welfare is not just for illegal people the majority are legal, I don’t even support that welfare (only for war veterans, disabled people and old people), it only makes people lazy, we can pay a fine if that makes you happy, all we want is an opportunity! I don’t support gold diggers legal or illegal!

        • vonnise

          ADreamer,  We have laws in existence today that will grant you legal status. If you are here illegally, have you even made the effort to start the process? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705687465 Garrett T Garrett

    STOP THE 10 YEAR BAR- watch how it would just balance its self out.

  • standinline

    While I am all for “equal justice for all”  I have a serious problem with someone from another country in the US illegally, fighting for educational opportunities for their children that at once take away opportunities from families who have been here for generations.  I have struggled all of my life in the US to achieve the American dream, born of parents who are US citizens.  I am part of a middle class population who is competing for jobs, whose children are competing for seats in elementary school classrooms to people who come to this country for a free ride.  People who are here only for the so called ‘entitlement programs, who make it their life mission to obtain every social service available including a free education pass, only to return to their country after receiving their education.  The parent of a school aged child, my daughter has been passed on attending an academic enrichment program because the one seat reserved for “Hispanics” has been given to someone who is in the US illegally.  Is that just?  I am all for immigration reform – let every person here illegally work for the social and educational benefits and stand at the back of the line just like those who came before them.

  • Theodora

    I DON’T THINK THIS DREAM ACT IS FAIR, THERE ARE CHILDREN BORN IN THIS COUNTRY WHO HAS TO PAY THEIR WAY TO COLLEGE OR DON’T GO AT ALL.  MOST OF THESE PEOPLE ARE DOING BETTER THAN TAXPAYERS, THEY ARE ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, WORK OFF THE BOOKS AND EVEN BABY SIT IN THEIR HOMES.  DO YOU REALLY BELIVE THEIR PARENTS ARE HERE NOT WORKING?.  I WAS AN UNDOUCMENTED AILEN AND NEVER ASK FOR ANYTHING.  I WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN IT IN MY COUNTRY, SO WHY ASK FOR IT IN AMERICA.  I CAME TO BETTER MY SELF AND MY CHILDREN.  I LEFT THEM IN MY COUNTRY UNTIL IN GOT MY DOCUMENTS 15 YRS LATER.  THIS IS NOT THE CHILDREN’S FAULT, IT’S THE PARENTS AND NOW TAXPAYERS MUST FOOT THE COLLEGE BILL.  COME ON AMERICA ATTEND TO YOUR OWN CHILDREN FIRST.

    • Jays_123

      Hahaha.. you are kidding right. ALL the dream act does is gives us the right to pay college tuition at the rates as any legal American does and be able to work. NO one is going to pay for our college. Get your facts straight, we will not be eligible for financial aid, therefore the tax payers will not be responsible for any of it. It might take us 8 years instead of 4 to finish a degree because we will have to pay our own way to school.

      • Middle Class American

        Well I’m hoping that illegal immigrants have to pay for their tuition. I am American and I don’t recieve any financial aid. I recently earned an academic  scholarship and that is helping out a lot. I started college at 16 and have worked while going to school full time. Today I heard that one of my sister’s friends who is an immigrant was going to be starting school with the help of the Dream Act. She also said that everything was going to be free. That made me really mad because I have been working my ass off for two years and have not recieved any government help. I’m not mad that immigrants are finally getting an opportunity for a better life…i’m just upset that are government would consider giving handouts to someone who was not even born in this country. Anyway i’m not exactly sure if the applicants will be recieving help. I just hope they have to pay for it like the rest of us. It’s only fair.

        • Jays_123@aol.com

          That is wrong information you have. I know first hand, no help for us. Just the ability to pay in state prices for tuition(rather than international tuition). People need to get their facts straight.

        • Oso

          if you don’t like it why not take your illegal ass back to europe?

  • vonnise

    We have existing laws on how to immigrate to America. It would be interesting to know how many of these young people have initiated the process to become legal citizens. 

  • say_what

    i sit here and read as many comment as i could read and trust me i was reading a lot!! not to be mean or racist like the most of you are that just like to point fingers and dont REALLY know how it fells to have a hard life. anyways i was at the top 5 of my high school class and then started to have  seizures like crazy grantmal at level 10 (like an earthquake) i found out what i wanted to go to shcool when i had my first one in class and no one knew what to do. i want to the E.R. the doctor didnt know tiggered it and to this day still doesnt and with about a dozen eeg’s done over 4000 mg of medz taken daily but i live life hoping and praying. i wanted to join the marines i was told they turn you into men and since i was raised with no father in my life and a mother always working it be perfect, so i thought. (i was 16 my junoir year) when a marine recruiter came by the shcool i went to see him i passed everything but my “illness” and the fact i was undocument. since then i stop with my grades, it went from a 3.78 to to a 2.2 when i graduated because i knew that i didn’t have a life after shcool because ppl care more about whats in their wallets then whats in their hearts and the only time ppl care is when they are going to die soon so the last few movements dont look bad infront of GOD. if there was hope or faith maybe a dream the country would be better place to live in insteed of always b@@@hing on how bad it is. havent anyone had a dream??? to be something in life? if you read this you had at one point in your life.if you dont think immigrants have working jobs hard i want you to fin a job and do it wit no ssn and if you wit no help, immigrants have it hard and no one is asking for a hand out but didnt we first some here as immigrants………….(1492)

  • http://twitter.com/Futuregrads Future Grads

    Let’s discuss this and other topics with Attorney Caroline Stephenson on Tuesday at 8:30pm  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/immigration-community-education

  • DOTHERIGHTTHING

    Illegal aliens SHOULD NOT be given free money — financial aid– to attend college.    They receive free health care when they visit the hospitals and free enducation for which homeowners are heavily tax.  Why should our children continually graduate from college with large student loan bills on their heads.  If you are going to relax the financial aid criteria then do so that those students who otherwise don’t qualify to reduce their strapping costs.    Also there are those who are trying to come to America the legal way.  Help them get into the country easier.  Don’t help those who know the consequences but break the law any.  Honor those who are following the law not those who break the law.  The free education they received here certainly can be used by their countries while they wait for USA Citizenship.  DON’T GIVE OUR CHILDREN’S MONIES AWAY.

    • Jays_123

      Take a second to read the bill and then comment on it. There is no free education with this law. There is no financial aid for college. Therefore, none of your tax money will be used. I agree with you though on one point, for those who are not immigrants, the financial aid can and should be relaxed. Again, NOT for the DREAM Act students. Only for those who are legal citizens. I know plenty of people that are legal citizens and are not receiving enough financial aid, and they need it. I am currently enrolled in a 4 year university and my parents have been saving their money for the past  20 years to send me to school. I am a Dreamer.  I am not asking for money for school, I just want the opportunity to stay in school without having to pay international tuition prices (which are usually double than regular tuition). 

    • history repeats itself

      It’s not free money. Illegal immigrants aren’t allowed to get any type of government aid. Yes many get pulled in into crime, but not all of them are that way, you can’t criticize a large group of people, for the wrong doings of a smaller group of people, that’s how the holocaust happened.

  • CatherineL316

    I am so upset that “Undocumented” aka people who entered my country illegally should be eligible for any of my tax money for their tuition. As a single Mom,  I am unable to get tuition assistance for my own children!!  I am sick of all the tax money being wasted on everyone but the hard working tax-paying citizens.  All college credentials should be withheld until they pay the money back.  Throw all these illegals the hell out!!!

    • Jays_123

      Oh my.. you clearly are misinformed. None of your tax money will go to pay for our school. Dream Act does not equal free education. It solely means that I can go to school and pay the regular tuition rates as any other American, OUT OF OUR OWN pockets. Just in case you were confused.

    • L_d22

      The “hard working tax-paying citizens”? Are you kidding me? Do you know what “your” country would be like without all those undocumented people? Have you thought about it? You are not the only one that pays taxes. In case you didn’t know, “undocumented” people pay taxes too. And many of these people that are illegal at the moment entered the country legally. How can you be so ignorant?

  • hopeforthefuture

    I have to admit that reading the comments on this article really brings me down a bit. For the people saying that illegal immigrants are lazy and such, who are you to judge? Many of us came to this country as toddlers or kids and had no say in it. We grew up here just like many of you, or your kids, or nephews, etc etc. Many of us put so much effort into our education and have hopes and dreams for our future, and the dream act could potentially help us make those dreams of a happy & successful future come true. For the ones saying that we are free loaders or taking jobs, we are not asking you to hand us anything. We merely ask for a chance. A chance to make our future brighter and better, and become the doctors or lawyers some of us want to be. We work hard for what we want, and we do not take anything from you. People may say that if we want jobs we should go back to our country. Well, it would be kind of like telling you to go live in a foreign country because many of us grew up here. This is our home. Some, even being illegal immigrants, don’t speak any language besides English and have never been to the county where their parents are from. Telling us to “go back to our country” is like telling us to go live on Mars. We would be in an environment completely strange to us. You don’t know the hardships one has to face being an illegal immigrant, and you cannot even begin to understand unless you are put in those shoes. I am 18, a recent high school graduate, and an illegal immigrant. I have many plans for my future as others do too, and my plan doesn’t include being “lazy” or a “job stealer” like some people make us out to be. I will work hard for what I want and earn my way up to what I want to become. No one should be fighting in these comments. After all, what do you accomplish besides getting yourself mad as well as the person you are arguing with?

  • SCOpopeye

    Why should the legal citizens of this country have to pay the enormous cost of tuition for illegals? It’s bad enough we legal citizens have to carry the heavy burden of tuition of our children. You want to encourage immagrants to come here illegally and have us (legal citizens) pay for it.
    That’s just not right. I bleed working three jobs to afford tuition costs for my children who are legal citizens and you give it away as a reward to those who knowingly break our laws of this country.
    Just not right.What do you think?

  • strongandproud

    I have worked really hard, I didn’t find out until I was 17 that my mom and step dad brought me here illegally; and I am to any person a typical 23 year old Caucasian female.. I have lived here since I was 14 months old.I know no other language, I am an American History buff, and I have paid my entire way through college. I will be graduating in one week with a Bachelors of Science in Biology. For those of you that think I’m lazy and worthless, you are wrong. All I want is to be a legal American because in my heart I have always been an American. I since sing the words to the national anthem, I know all the words to the Pledge of Allegiance, and I sing my schools fight song proudly. I dont deserve to be treated like garbage.

  • fabi

    so with the dream act do we get financial assistance to go to school?

  • claudia

    Well said :)

  • kristie

    I am undocumented. And I want to be a productive human being in this society. May America just give me an opportunity to live in this country and live my dreams

↑ Back to top

About Us    Contact Us    The MetroFocus Team   Mobile   WNET Pressroom   Privacy Policy    Terms of Service

Ford FoundationMutual of America

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by the Ford Foundation, James and Merryl Tisch, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Charlotte and David Ackert, Jody and John Arnhold and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America.
© 2014 WNET    All Rights Reserved.    825 Eighth Avenue    New York, NY 10019