Thursday, December 2, 2010

Students gather tonight for Dream Act Vigil

Students plan to meet outside U.S. Senator Kay Hagan’s Charlotte office this afternoon at 5 p.m. in hopes of urging her to support the Dream Act.

The Dream Act is up for debate as Congress attempts to push through several initiatives during the lame duck session before new legislators arrive next year. The Dream Act would give thousands of young illegal immigrants who have attended U.S. high schools a chance to gain legal residency if they attend college or serve in the military.

Hagan told the Observer in September that she felt the Dream Act should be considered in the context of comprehensive immigration reform, not as a stand-alone bill."

Advocates say as many as 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school with no options to further their education. The Dream Act has received some bipartisan support. There is more sympathy for the kids who supporters say shouldn't be punished for the errors of their parents.

But opposition is strong. Those against the Act argue passing it will only add more incentives to illegal immigrants to come here and create unfair competition with U.S. citizens and residents for college seats.

“In less than a decade, this reality could easily double or triple the more than 2.1 million green cards that will be immediately distributed as a result of the dream act,” U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions wrote in his report, “Ten Things You Need To Know About S.3827, Dream Act.”

The vigil:

What : Candlelight Vigil for Broken Dreams
When: December 2, 2010 at 5:00 pm
Where: Outside Senator Hagan’s Charlotte office.
Who: United 4 the DREAM and NC Equals
Contact: Elver Barrios, United 4 the DREAM, 704-726-3346; Lacey Williams, NC Equals, 904-571-7800

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