The College Board Backs the ‘DREAM Act’

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 22, 2009 1 min read
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The College Board, an association of 5,000 colleges and universities and the creator of the SAT, has publicly endorsed the “DREAM Act,” which would give undocumented students who graduate from high schools in this country and attend college or serve in the military a path toward legalization. (See this week’s coverage by USA Today and the Los Angeles Times.)

At a briefing on Capitol Hill yesterday, College Board President Gaston Caperton expressed his organization’s support for the ‘DREAM Act,’ which is short for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. It was reintroduced in Congress in March.

The College Board also released a report, “Young Lives on Hold: The College Dreams of Undocumented Students,” on how the educational prospects of undocumented youths in this country could be changed if the DREAM Act were passed. The report is written by Roberto G. Gonzales, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Washington, who is one of the few scholars in this country studying undocumented youths.

The report contends that it makes good economic sense for the United States to enable undocumented students to attend college and become legal U.S. residents. It says that “the contributions that DREAM Act students would make over their lifetimes would dwarf the small additional investment in their education beyond high school.”

It estimates that the DREAM Act would give an estimated 360,000 high school graduates who are now undocumented a way to work and attend college legally. Plus, it would be an incentive for undocumented students still in the K-12 system to work hard in school so they may go on to college, the report says.

Critics of the DREAM Act argue, by the way, that the legislation would provide “amnesty” for people who have broken the laws of this country. They say that undocumented immigrants should return to their homelands.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.