Yesterday on The Daily Weekly we looked into the DREAM Act, which passed out of the state Higher Education Committee today in a 14-4 vote and has the support of the likes of Sen. Ed Murray and OneAmerica. The goal of the bill is to extend state financial aid to Washington state immigrants students.
As the post notes:
Currently, Washington state is one of 12 states to give long-term undocumented immigrant students in-state tuition rates under certain requirements. Yet as university students are faced with high unemployment rates and rising tuition costs, immigrant students are additionally burdened as they are categorically denied all federal and state financial aid.
"The majority of young, hardworking students cannot afford higher education because they don't have need-based financial aid," says Murphy.
Murphy emphasizes the DREAM Act is geared toward students who qualify and receive deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Passed by President Obama in June 2012, the initiative temporarily suspends deportation of young immigrants who graduate from US schools and enables them to work and study in the United States.
Beneficiaries of the DREAM Act will be people already participating in the work force and, therefore, would maximize contributions to the state, says OneAmerica Policy Manager Emily Murphy.
The DREAM Act is still in its early stages-- after passing in the House Higher Education Committee, it will likely go to the appropriations committee before being introduced on the House and Senate floor. It's a small step, but it's an important one in dictating immigration reform.
Commenter BrianRichardson responds:
This is the next logical - and smart - step after in-state tuition that honors the contribution of young aspiring citizens and continues to invest in youth that we've invested in throughout K-12 public education. Rah rah Ed Murray!