Maria’s Dream

Maria has a 4.0 grade point average, takes Advanced Placement classes in History, Biology, and Literature at her high school, and participates in community leadership development programs at one of the local universities.

She wants a college degree and dreams of becoming a teacher.
But Maria, the daughter of illegal immigrants from Guatemala, does not qualify for in-state tuition, public scholarships or federal loans that make college affordable.

She was brought to the United States at an age at which she was too young to understand the legality of her immigrant status.

Despite the fact that Maria has grown up in the United States, attended local schools, demonstrated a commitment to learn English and succeed in school, U.S. immigration laws provide no chance for her to pursue her educational dreams.

To reach her dreams she needs the DREAM Act… a piece of legislation that would allow children like Maria who entered the country before age 16, lived here continuously for at least five years, graduated from high school and demonstrated good moral character to apply for a conditional legal status for six years.

During this time, these young people like Maria could go to college or serve in the military.  If Maria completes at least two years of college or military service, she would be eligible for permanent residency status.

The DREAM Act is what America is supposed to be all about, isn’t it?

And what about Maria? If the DREAM Act doesn’t pass this year she’ll be looking for a job and being exploited at a NC meatpacking plant.

And that is truly a tragedy!

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