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The Daily Tar Heel

When DREAM is reality: We must make UNC a welcoming place for DREAMers

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act was voted down yesterday in the U.S. Senate. This act would have permitted undocumented immigrants under the age of 16 and who have lived in the country more than five years to obtain a green card by attending college or serving in the military.

While we cannot change what the Senate chooses to do, we are optimistic that one day UNC will be able to welcome all students who are worthy enough to attend here; especially students who are most likely to give back to the community after graduating.

The DREAM act is not comprehensive Immigration Reform. It only seeks to allow an equal opportunity to attend college and earn citizenship.

Allowing these N.C. kids to have reasonable access to higher education will allow them to attend college in N.C. and have access to federal aid.

The Act, if passed, would allow what North Carolina has invested into these students to be taken full advantage of.

Let’s remember these students already attend our public schools, which are funded through subsidies from the state and federal government.

The American people have helped to educate these students. Does it not make sense to continue this support so the money was not spent in vain?

Ron Bilbao, President of the Coalition for College Access at UNC, stated before today’s vote, “the only people who will lose if the DREAM act fails is all of us together, and the only people that win if it passes will be all of us and our children who come after us.”

The fact is, these children have grown up in America and received benefits from our federal government.

Immigration reform is certainly a divisive issue here on campus and in the country at large. But we as students must recognize the need to work for a welcoming community — for the day that students who came here through no choice of their own can receive the full benefits of an education at one of the best universities in the world.

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