NEA on Higher Education for Immigrants
NEA supports legislation that would provide a path to legal status for students who came to the U.S. as children at least five years ago and have grown up here, remained in school and out of trouble.
- Each year, over 50,000 undocumented students who have lived in the United States for at least five years graduate from U.S. high schools. Among these students are class valedictorians, straight-A students, and idealistic youth committed to bettering their communities. But, barriers related to their lack of legal status keep them from achieving their dreams.
- Current federal law restricts states' ability to provide in-state tuition or higher education assistance to these students, who often have no recourse to regularize their immigration status. As a result, many of them are unable to pursue higher education.
- The current law denies students with tremendous promise the opportunity to excel. In fact, many promising students drop out of school because they know they will be unable to continue on to college.
- The loss to these students, and to society as a whole, is significant.
- The bipartisan DREAM Act/American Dream Act will address federal barriers to education and work confronted by the U.S.-raised children of undocumented immigrants.