Help Deserving Students Earn a Path to Legal Residency

Urge Congress to support the DREAM Act

By PAAIA Government Affairs Office

July 21, 2010, Washington D.C. –  Last year, PAAIA highlighted the story of Mohammad Abdollahi who came to the United States from Iran at the age of three. Due to a minor immigration technicality, his family’s application for a visa was turned down, resulting in his “out of status” condition.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census there are approximately 2.5 million undocumented youth under the age of 18 that live in the United States. Further estimates indicate that roughly 65,000 undocumented students like Mohammad graduate from high school every year. Most do not get the opportunity to seek higher education and live their American story. The DREAM Act would create a path for many of them to legally pursue education and a career path in the United States.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act was reintroduced for consideration in the 111th Congress in March of 2009. The bipartisan measure currently has 40 cosponsors in the Senate and 125 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.

The DREAM Act would enable undocumented students to obtain legal status if they arrived in the United States at the age of 15 or younger, have lived in the United States for at least five years, have graduated from high school, have good moral character, and are willing to serve in the military or attend college for at least two years.

The DREAM Act is supported by a broad coalition of immigrant, labor, civil liberties, and religious organizations. The bill has also received massive support from many student organizations around the country. This week supporters of the Dream Act rallied in Washington, D.C. for several days of lobbying in the nation’s capital. Some immigration advocates are hopeful that if comprehensive immigration reform stalls, the DREAM Act may still be passed by Congress this year.

Click here to learn more about Mohammad’s story and his appeal to President Obama.

Click here to urge your member of congress to support the DREAM Act.

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