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Action Alert -- July 18, 2007  

HACU Urges Support of DREAM Act to be introduced in the Senate

Senators Richard Durbin of Illinois, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Richard Lugar of Indiana are scheduled to introduce Amendment 2237 (The DREAM Act - S 774) ) to the Defense Authorization Bill (HR 1585) on Wednesday July 18, 2007, which would allow states to offer in-state tuition to eligible immigrant college students who otherwise would pay higher out-of-state tuition fees.  

Senate Bill 774 -- The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2007 -- would also make it easier for immigrant students who have met long-term residency and other requirements to pursue permanent legal residency status.

HACU is urging the leadership of all member colleges and universities to immediately contact both of their U.S. Senators to request that they vote for Senate Amendment 2237 which will open new doors to college for tens of thousands of talented students. This DREAM Act amendment will allow qualified immigrant students to obtain the advanced knowledge and skills that will allow them to fully contribute to our country's future economic strength and security.

Please contact HACU's Washington, D.C., office at (202) 833-8361 or for any assistance in preparing telephone calls and e-mail correspondence to U.S. Senate members urging their support for this important legislation.

Please also contact Senators Richard Durbin (IL) - (202) 224-2152, Chuck Hagel (NB) - (202) 224-4224, and Richard Lugar (IN) - (202) 224-4814 to express appreciation for their willingness to introduce the Amendment 2237.

Talking Points -- The DREAM Act/Amendment 2237 will:

  • Repeal Section 505 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which currently discourages states from providing in-state tuition regardless of immigration status;
  • Widen the path to legal residency by allowing students with good moral character who came to the United States before they were 16 and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, to qualify for Conditional Permanent Resident Status (CPRS) upon acceptance to college, graduation from high school or the awarding of a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
  • Eliminate age limits set by previous legislation to allow students to qualify, regardless of age, so long as they meet the above requirements;
  • Protect immigrant students who are at least 12 years old and meet all other qualifications except high school graduation from deportation as long as the student remains in school;
  • Provide CPRS for qualified immigrant students for six years, during which  students would be accorded all rights of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) as long as they maintain good moral character, avoid lengthy trips and meet one of three detailed requirements involving college status, or service in the Armed Forces.
  • Include a hardship provision to allow the extension of the six-year time period for meeting the above requirements if there is good cause. In addition, the requirements may be waived completely if there are compelling reasons preventing their completion and if removal of the student would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the student, or the student's spouse, parent or child.

HACU Action Alerts are a service of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.