Sign the D.R.E.A.M. Act Petition Today!

By 21:23 , , , ,

I just received an e-mail very close to my heart from my friend Michelle who works at the International Institute of Rhode Island, where I used to intern while at Providence College.  The e-mail was asking me to visit a website asking me to ask U.S. Congressmen to sign the D.R.E.A.M. Act, allowing millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States to attend college and later allow them to becoming legal permanent residents or obtain work authorization. 

Why is this close to my heart?  Well, first of all, because I've been hearing about this act for what seems like forever, and it never seems to pass in Congress.  Secondly, because at several points in my life, this Act was my hope for studying and working in the U.S.  I would hear time and again, "Don't worry, the D.R.E.A.M. Act is going to pass and you're going to go to college!" And most importantly, because I think it will help for the betterment of the country!   

D.R.E.A.M. stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (we'll disregard the Alien part I don't like).  Ou seja, the act would allow for these young peoples' development professionally, relief from hiding their identities, and an education for them to share with the world and acheive what it is their parents brought them to the U.S. for in the first place!  In my case, I am very grateful to Providence College and its staff, because I was awarded a full tuition scholarship through their Martin Luther King, Jr. scholarship.  I got into a number of very good schools, but none were willing to offer me any money.  If it weren't for PC, I wouldn't even have made it to school in the immediate four years after high school that I did.  Yeah, maybe I would have worked my way through a community college, but it would have been nowhere near the education I received at PC.  

The problem came when I graduated.  Which is why I'm here in Brazil.  For me, it was a good experience to have returned.  But it may not have been.  And I know that many of my peers in the same situation would have no means of returning to their home countries and being happy there.  This is because a number of them don't even speak their native tongue anymore, they do not identify themselves with the culture of their home countries, and even though "paperwork" for school and jobs wouldn't be a problem - a number of places around the world do not offer the education or job opportunities these students are capable of receiving. 

One of the biggest arguments against the DREAM Act is that it hikes up US citizen's tax dollars.  Or any help to undocumented immigrants for that matter.  For those who agree with this, here's a little FYI.  In 2007, I wrote a research paper (if you want a copy, I'd be more than happy to share) in which one of my favorite fun facts written was: Immigrants see $5 billion in public benefits per year.  Yet a study done at that time estimated that they would contribute $500 billion within the next 20 years to the nation's social security system.  $400 billion more than they "steal" from the government.  Need I say more?

Long story short - Watch the video, and if you're a US Citizen, sign the petition... please?   

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