what does the immigration bill mean to students?

Immigrant students seek path to a dream
Rally at UH urges support for a bill that could lead to careers and citizenship

— reported by the Houston Chronicle

Vanessa Ramos graduated sixth in her class at Sam Houston High School and now studies pre-med at the University of Houston. Diego Almazán graduated cum laude from Northbrook High School and has made the dean’s list at UH.

Yet because both came to Texas illegally with their parents, these bright students face an uncertain future after graduation. Although no law bars students like them from going to college, federal residency rules could make it difficult for them to get a job afterward.

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Earlier this week, the two joined dozens of other University of Houston students in the grassy, free-speech zone in front of the campus’ main library, holding posters that silently urged others to “Support our Dream.” Specifically, they encouraged support of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, one of the immigration provisions passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

The DREAM Act would make illegal immigrant students who have been raised in the United States — a group estimated at more than 65,000 nationwide — eligible for federal loans and work-study programs. It also would create a pathway for them to apply for legal residency, a conditional status that would allow them to work and could eventually lead to citizenship.

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Several students involved in UH’s Young Immigrants for a Better Future group said they know people who have graduated and had a tough time finding work. One student mentioned a relative, a college graduate, who works for a family member and is paid off the books.

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Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/palomacruz) and (Facebook).

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