Dream Act gives opportunities to immigrants

Column by Maria Lopez. E-mail [email protected]

Close your eyes and imagine. Who do you dream to become? Even though a lot of the time we don’t know what to answer, deep inside of us is a yearning to become someone great, and some of us to leave a legacy behind.  Sometimes leaving a legacy is as simple as being the first family member to go to college.

Immigrants founded America on the principle of opportunity. If you aren’t an immigrant, your great-grandparents, grandparents or even parents came to this country for a better future.

Sixteen years ago my family had a dream to come to the US, and like all immigrants, my family’s dream had obstacles like language barriers, cultural differences and social acceptances.

Immigration also has other drawbacks. Sixty-five thousand students graduate high school each year but can’t go to college because they don’t have their “papers” because of broken immigration laws.

However, hope exists for these students. This hope is the Dream Act, a proposed bi-partisan legislation that would give the undocumented immigrant youth a path to earn legal permanent residency and eventually citizenship if members enroll in college or join the military.

The UK chapter of the Kentucky Dream Coalition, a new UK student organization, will fast for 65 hours to advocate for the act, in honor of those 65,000 students. The fast begins Tuesday at 6 p.m. and goes until Friday at 11 a.m.

To be a part of this change, you can call 1-888-254-5087 to urge our senators to vote “yes” for the Dream Act. The Senate vote will be decided as early as Thursday or Friday.

Look closely at your communities, neighborhoods or schools. Students are there walking in the shadows. They are afraid because despite the many opportunities this country has to offer, they can’t pursue some. Their hands are tied. This week could change many lives. If the Dream Act passes, those student will have the same opportunity you and I have to attend college.

I am a first generation college student in my family. And my dream is to inspire and motivate future generations to go to college and pursue their dreams.