Monday, September 20, 2010

Letters to Senator McCain and Senator Kyl from ASU President Michael Crow

President Michael Crow of Arizona State University has written both Senators John McCain & Jon Kyl, showing unequivocal solidarity with undocumented youth and stating his and the University's support for passage of the DREAM Act:

Senator Kyl, Senator McCain,

"Arizona State University strongly supports the DREAM Act to ensure access to higher education for the thousands of undocumented high school graduates whose ability to obtain a college education is thwarted by our current dysfunctional immigration system. These are students brought to the United States as children, innocents caught up in the middle of the immigration debate. The decision to come to this country was not theirs. But America is the only home they have known and they have spent their young lives being good students, working hard, and staying out of trouble.
Approximately 65,000 undocumented immigrants graduate from American high schools every year ,often unable to afford college without access to resident tuition or government-backed federal or state financial aid. The ability of these young people to contribute to the economic growth of our country, and to their own self-sufficiency, depends in large measure on their ability to further their education. Around 50% of undocumented students drop out of our high schools despite the fact that educational attainment is one of the most important predictors of an individual's economic success and quality of life.
There is a million-dollar difference, over a lifetime, between the earning capacity ofa high school graduate and a college graduate. Research also shows that people who go to college are healthier, are more likely to volunteer and to participate in their community, and are less likely to be incarcerated or rely on public assistance. Undocumented children in America are guaranteed access to public elementary and secondary schools by a 1982 Supreme Court ruling which held that a state cannot deny a free public K-12 education on the basis of immigration status. Erecting barriers and continuing to restrict the opportunity for undocumented children to have access to an affordable higher education denies them economic, social and intellectual benefits that will serve both them and our nation in the future.
I urge you to consider voting to include DREAM in the DoD authorization bill or in whatever legislative vehicle that it may be attached to or as a stand-alone bill. It has been considered since 2001 and perhaps it is past time for its implementation.
Copies of letters can be found here and here

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