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DREAM Act Testimony

By Gwendolyn Bradley

At the request of Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, AAUP government relations officer Nsé Ufot submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee for a June 28 hearing on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant legal US residency to some undocumented immigrants after the successful completion of two years of college or military service. Writing on behalf of many faculty members, librarians, and academic professionals, and the millions of students they teach, support, and advise, Ufot urged that the DREAM Act be passed. In her testimony, she noted that the absence of federal guidelines for the treatment of undocumented students in higher education has led to confusion and concern for these students and their families as states have developed different laws—some granting in-state tuition to undocumented students, others denying it, and a few barring them from attending public colleges and universities altogether.

Ufot also pointed out that under the act, qualified undocumented youth would be given the chance to invest in themselves and their futures through education or the armed services, and that many US communities, which have already invested in these youth through the K–12 educational system, would benefit from a pool of better-educated citizens. She cited numerous studies showing a positive net financial effect of the DREAM Act for the nation as a whole.

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