By Alexa Santana
The immigration reform that was announced by President Barack Obama gives high hopes for Dream Act students at East Los Angeles College.
On Nov. 20, Obama gave his nationwide speech on our nation’s broken immigration system.
Immigration reform is the president’s most committed topic since he was elected into office.
He began by securing our borders, and border crossing has been cut by more than half.
It is at its lowest since the 1970s.
For the past year and a half, he has worked with Congress on a comprehensive fix.
The plan has the ability to double the number of border patrol agents, and give immigrants who pay taxes a pathway to citizenship.
This strategy would have helped our economy and shrink the country’s deficits.
If both the House and the Senate could agree with the proposals, enough support could be gained to pass the act.
For the past year and a half, Republicans refused to allow a simple vote.
Obama has taken stops to help provide millions of undocumented immigrants a chance at citizenship.
He feels that the undocumented immigrants who contribute to our country, such as high skilled workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs can help our society and that the focus on undocumented criminals and felons should be taken action on.
What the president proposed was if a person has been in America for more than five years, has children who are American citizens or legal residents, register to vote, pass a background check, and agree to pay taxes, they can apply to stay in the country temporarily.
Even a temporary pass has been a challenge to pass in both houses of Congress.
The California Dream Act allows children under the age of 16, without proper visas or immigration documentation, and who have attended school on a regular basis, and have the appropriate GPA requirements to apply for financial benefits.
To apply, students must meet all requirements, send valid documentation of transcripts, pass a background check, and pay a fee of $100.
The act has been great help to AB540 students because it gives them the opportunity to further their education without the financial burden.
Although, AB540 students can apply for financial aid, the act does not grant citizenship.
If Obama’s proposal were to pass by both parties, it will give immigrant students the opportunity for citizenship.
It would benefit students at ELAC.
ELAC is the neighboring community college to the Los Angeles area such as Boyle Heights, East LA, Montebello, and many others.
These areas are predominantly Hispanics, where many young adults are undocumented immigrants.
Although many students benefit from the Dream Act, if this proposal passes, it will benefit students on a larger scale.
The bigger picture is whar is more important.
Just like the president said in his speech, our immigration system is broken.
Undocumented immigrants would not only benefit from reform, but our country as a whole would benefit from such a bold act.
ELAC having a high minority population, many students can relate to family members eagerly wanting this act to pass.