In Support of the DREAM Act
During my three years as UCLA’s chancellor, I have had numerous opportunities to meet UCLA’s undocumented immigrant students—to learn more about their resolve to succeed as students and, ultimately, as citizens.
As early as this week, Congress is expected to vote on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, better known as the DREAM Act. If approved, the new law would grant conditional permanent resident status to those who arrived in the U.S. before they were 16, lived in the U.S. for at least five years, graduated from high school and completed two years of college or military service.
This important legislation is overdue, and I strongly support its passage.
In recent weeks, I have collaborated with the White House and the U.S. Department of Education to help make the case for the DREAM Act. I have shared the stories of UCLA’s undocumented students, who excel as students and leaders on our campus despite the significant obstacles they face. These are students who, through sheer determination, have demonstrated great talent and leadership skills. They already enrich our campus and the Los Angeles community, and I have no doubt that they will do the same for our nation if only we give them a fair chance.
I cannot imagine a group more deserving of permanent residency and of the opportunity to become citizens. I encourage you to fully inform yourself about the DREAM Act by reading the proposed legislation.
Gene D. Block
November 30, 2010