Senate filibuster defeats DREAM act

If a college degree wouldn’t help you get a job, and you weren’t allowed to apply for student loans to help you pay for that degree, would you still want one? For many students across Utah, these are real questions that need to be addressed. The DREAM Act, which was most recently defeated by a senate filibuster on Dec. 18, 2010, would have provided otherwise-deportable aliens that graduated from U.S. high schools and have lived in the U.S. for five continuous years, the opportunity to receive a college education and enter the U.S. labor force with permanent residency. Similar bills have been introduced multiple times since 2001, but all have been defeated. Yet, students all around the nation, and here at Utah State, still maintain hope that congress will one day give them a shot at their future. Lupe Tellez, president of the Latino Student Union, said most who would be affected by the DREAM act were brought here when they were younger, and have to live with the consequences of decisions that were made for them. “They can’t go to school, they can’t get a job, unless they do it illegally,” Tellez said. She said many don’t speak Spanish and know no other home than the U.S. Issues regarding illegal immigration have been of particular concern to Utah because of its estimated population of 110,000 unauthorized immigrants, most of which are of Latino heritage, according to the PEW research center. Isael Torres, treasurer of the Latino Student Union, said some of the main criticism of the bill was that it would reward illegal action and encourage unauthorized immigration. “It’s really easy to use the racism card, but that’s not quite it,” he said. “I do understand that the country is concerned about immigration, but I don’t think anyone in their right mind or with a heart can say that it’s right to single people out based on something that they had no control over.”

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