NEA applauds the House of Representatives for passing the DREAM Act
Van Roekel urges the Senate to move swiftly to do the same
WASHINGTON - December 09, 2010 -
Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would provide a path to legal status for young people whose parents brought them to the United States as undocumented children years ago. The U.S. Senate is considering similar legislation.
Each year, thousands of these students graduate from U.S. high schools. Among these students, with whom NEA members work every day, are class valedictorians, straight-A students, and idealistic youth committed to bettering their communities. Yet, because of enormous barriers created by their lack of legal status, many such students are unable to pursue higher education or serve in the military. The loss to these students, and to society as a whole, is significant.
The bill would have significant fiscal benefits for states and local communities. For example, a 30-year-old immigrant who graduates from college would pay $5,300 more in taxes and cost $3,900 less in government expenses each year than if she had dropped out of high school. State and local taxpayers, who have already invested in the education of these children in elementary and secondary school, could benefit from that investment through the DREAM Act. In addition, the bill would help promote the skilled workforce necessary for our nation to compete globally.
The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:
“We applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the DREAM Act.
“This is the first step on the long road to legal status for young people whose parents brought them to the United States as undocumented children years ago.
“This vote is a win-win for America. It is a resounding affirmation that education is the key to economic security and prosperity for all students. And it represents the best of our shared values of fairness, accountability and a strong work ethic.
“We urge the Senate to move swiftly to pass the DREAM Act to allow these students to achieve their dreams.”
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing
3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.
CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez (202) 822-7823, firstname.lastname@example.org