The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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College Board takes a stance on undocumented students

The College Board of trustees has voted unanimously to support legislation known as the federal Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (the Dream Act).

The legislation offers some undocumented students a path to citizenship through college or the military.

The institution, usually known for the SAT exams, is stepping into the immigration debate for the first time. This comes as President Obama is indicating that he may encourage lawmakers to take up comprehensive immigration reform in the near future.

Some opponents to the decision believe the board is sacrificing the education of the future generations.

‘The Dream Act is basically an amnesty bill disguised as an education plan.’ There’s only a fixed number of college spots and it’s not fair to admit an illegal alien over a citizen for that spot and have them compete for financial aid,’ said Bob Dane, spokesperson for Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The bill would allow students who illegally entered the United States when they were under the age of 15 to apply for conditional legal resident status if they have lived in the country for five or more years and graduated from high school or received a GED. And if they attended college or served in the military for two or more years, they could be granted citizenship.

Jose who refused to be fully identified because of his undocumented status is, president of Dreams be Heard and one of the many undocumented students he said,

Undocumented students are sometimes referred to as AB 540 students, after Assembly Bill 540 which allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition. However not all AB 540 students are undocumented.

While the California State University system doesn’t keep track of undocumented students it was estimated that in 2007 there were about 314 AB 540 students at CSUN, Pedro said.

‘The Dream Act is necessary and has been for the past few years, the legislation is alleviating the immigration burden by educating the students who would otherwise be here without the proper skills necessary to achieve and attain lifelong goals.’

In a recent class presentation Jose explained how not all undocumented students would benefit from the DREAM Act, in fact only about 10 percent would qualify if passed.

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‘These (are students) that go through grades K-12 and why not let them continue their futures onto college, taxes helped pay for the previous education and you’re not funding criminals, you’re investing in their futures,’ Jose said. ‘I often hear if undocumented students are allowed in they will cause overcrowding. Only those students who are prepared for higher education will be accepted. These are tactics used by people who don’t understand that we are talking about students nothing more.’

California is one of 10 states that currently provide in-state tuition to qualified undocumented students and other non-residents who attended California high schools.

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