Monday, November 8, 2010

Extra Credit Blog - Citizenship for Students

In the article "Citizenship for Students, Coming out Illegal" these activists face hardships being illegal immigrants. Leslie a current college student at the University of California in Los Angeles works three jobs in order to be able to pay a $10,000 tuition. Being illegal for Leslie means that she is also unable to vote, get a drivers license and visit her family in Mexico. These activists are fighting to promote the Dream Act which according to the article is a, "federal bill which would create a pathway to legal residency for immigrants who arrived in this country as children, have been in the United States for at least five years and have graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained a G.E.D. To gain status, they would have to finish two years of college or military service." Without the success of this act many second generation immigrant children would be stuck in the same kinds of jobs that their parents held like waitressing and housekeeping. In order to gain political support for the bill the activists are using tactics from the civil rights and the gay movement performing hunger strikes, demonstrations and "coming out" meaning publicly revealing their illegal status. In doing so they risk getting arrested and ultimately deported.

Many of the Dream leaders hoped that once President Obama was sworn into the white house that he would pass the Dream Act but a year later and it hasn't been passed and they feel the need to further rally for the passage of the act. The problem with pushing forward with the act is that many immigrants face being arrested and deportation as well. I believe that a successful way to promote the act is to recruit people that are citizens because they cannot be deported. Another means in which I believe would make the movement even more successful would be to hold demonstrations in big cities which would bring more attention to the cause.


  1. Hi Sharon - Great post and overview - the idea of 'coming out' is really interesting in this context. The idea of citizen allies also reminds me the civil rights movement's use of white volunteers, who were more likely to be protected or, if they were harmed, would get more attention than black activists would. There's a panel about the DREAM act at LaGuardia tommorow - remind me to announce it.

    Also, have you found a specific text for your essay yet?

  2. No I haven't because I was unsure of the topic I wanted to do the paper on but I've discovered a movement I've made my mind up to write on. I'll run it by you at the end of class today.

    I'd like to know more about the Dream Act coming to Laguardia as well so I'll definately remind you.