December 7, 2010
Cynthia Leonor Garza
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
Urging Congress to Pass DREAM Act
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) would create a pathway to legal status for qualified students who come to the United States before the age of 16 if they complete at least two years of college or military service.
WASHINGTON—The DREAM Act needs to become a reality for the thousands of undocumented immigrant students who want to live the American dream by graduating from high school, attending college and obtaining legal status. Among the 65,000 undocumented immigrant students who graduate from American high schools each year are class valedictorians, straight-A students, and idealistic young people committed to their families and improving their communities. Many were brought to this country at a young age by their parents, have played by the rules, and in many cases have become courageous role models for their peers, but their immigration status bars them from opportunities to better themselves.
We strongly urge the U.S. Congress to consider and pass the DREAM Act—a practical, fair solution that upholds the best of our American values—before adjourning this month.
We must do all we can to help eliminate barriers to our students’ success and to support our children as they pursue their dreams of becoming productive members of our society.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.