A group of immigration advocates banded together outside one of President Barack Obama’s Denver campaign offices to put pressure on the Obama Administration to stop deporting young undocumented immigrants that would be eligible for permanent residency under the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM Act. Although the DREAM Act has failed to win approval in either the state Senate or Assembly, immigration supporters are not backing down.
Over the last several years, the controversial legislation has been a widely discussed topic among immigration advocates and critics. Under the law, children of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record would be given U.S. citizenship if they attend college or the military after they graduate high school.
According to the Denver Post, the activists hope their gathering will urge President Obama to sign an executive order that will end the deportations, which they say he is capable of doing. Two of the activists, Javier Hernandez, from Denver, and Veronica Gomez, from California, came to the country when they were young – Gomez when she was three and Hernandez when he was just six months – and both told the source they consider themselves American. However, because they are still considered to be illegal immigrants, the two said they risked deportation if they were to be arrested at the sit-in.
“If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes,” Gomez told The Denver Post.
As the issue continues to be discussed within various platforms, some schools are showing their support for immigrant students. According to the source, the Metropolitan State College of Denver may soon cut the cost of tuition by more than half for undocumented students.
According to the Denver Post, nearly 18 percent of Metro State students are Latino, and if the student population reaches 25 percent, the school would be eligible for a Hispanic-Serving Institution grant, which could award the school with up to $35 million.
Although not everyone is pleased with the tuition structure, Metro State president Stephen Jordan told the source it is something he believes in.
“We know that this is something that is sure to engender passions, and we’ll see it on both sides of the issue,” he said. “But we feel this is consistent with our mission and the population that we serve.”