The DREAM Act: 10 Years of Activism and Debate
In 2001, the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) was first introduced in the U.S. Senate. This legislation sought to grant citizenship to current college students and military enlistees brought to the U.S. as dependent children. Numerous versions of the federal DREAM Act have been introduced but failed to win passage. On the state level, similar legislation has passed in states like California (AB 130) in 2011, while Georgia and Alabama have moved to restrict access to institutions of higher education for undocumented students. Recent announcements by President Obama's administration that ""low priority"" undocumented immigrants may not be targeted for deportation signals yet another chapter in this struggle.
Our panelists discuss the DREAM Act in the broader historical context and meaning of citizenship and the immigrant experience in the United States. They also examine debates and activism surrounding the DREAM Act as illustrating the conflicting legal, political, and socioeconomic landscape of immigration reform.
Lisa Garcia Bedolla, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education; Chair, Center for Latino Policy Research, UC Berkeley
Kevin Escudero, doctoral student, Department of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley
Aarti Kohli, Director of Immigration Policy, Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, UC Berkeley School of Law
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