As we discussed on this blog a couple of weeks ago, Governor Chris Christie had long given an impression of support for the New Jersey DREAM Act. At a Latino Leadership Alliance event before the last election, for example, he had emphasized the importance of ensuring "tuition equality for everybody in New Jersey." Yet just as the bill was to be sent for his signature, Christie abruptly issued an about-face, complaining that while in-state tuition equality was OK, allowing access state financial aid programs for DREAMers would be too expensive.
"I said the legislature should move in the lame duck session towards tuition equality in New Jersey. Period," New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said recently. "I didn't support any particular piece of legislation." His statement was meant to clarify remarks a week earlier in which he said he opposed the New Jersey DREAM Act, which would have granted it.
The Regents of the University of Michigan have just announced that, beginning in January, it will offer in-state tuition to all resident students regardless of immigration status. Michigan joins New York and 15 other states with policies providing access to higher education for immigrants in some form. Most of the policies were prompted in part to help unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children (referred to as "Dreamers") and have lived essentially as U.S. citizens all their lives, but who are often denied tuition help for college.
This week, the President was forced to admit that immigration reform is not likely to be passed by his self-imposed August deadline, but he insisted nonetheless that any reform efforts must include a path to U.S. citizenship for the nearly 11 million unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States.
So far, 2013 promises to be a big year in terms of immigration reform. As New York's Governor Cuomo prepares for his State of the State speech on Jan. 8, young undocumented immigrants have taken to the phone lines and the governor's Twitter account. These young immigrants want the governor to address the New York State Dream Act.
They're called Dreamers: those young, undocumented immigrants who would be eligible for legal status under the Dream Act. But the Dream Act has long been stalled in Congress, and young immigrants in New York and throughout the country are doing more to show their support for the bill.
A Dream Act Olympian made his dreams come true by achieving his permanent residency and representing America at the London games. Leo Manzano earned the U.S. its first medal in the 1,500-meter race last week for the first time since 1968.
As we've discussed in earlier posts this year (June 13, March 21) the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, has garnered a lot of attention and raised many hopes this year. The federal legislation would give permanent resident status to undocumented students and military service members brought illegally to the U.S. by their parents. Because Congress has been unable to pass the bill at the federal level, many states have attempted to adopt their own versions, including New York.
While federal law prohibits employers from hiring illegal workers, there is no law prohibiting employers from hiring contractors without asking for proof of citizenship. Therefore, a City University of New York School of Law graduate has opened a lobbying agency to help so-called Dreamers - children brought into this country illegally - find their path toward citizenship.