Pennsylvania Dreamers in Harrisburg to Call for an Immediate Vote on the Pennsylvania Dream Act (SB. 713)May 6 2014 Press Center
Pennsylvania Dreamers in Harrisburg to Call for an Immediate Vote on the Pennsylvania Dream Act (SB. 713)
What:Dreamers from across Pennsylvania and allies will be holding a press conference asking for a vote in the Education committee on the PA Dream Act.
When: Tuesday, April 8th 12:00 a.m.
Where: East Wing Rotunda, State Capitol, Harrisburg, PA 17126
Who: Immigrant youth, JUNTOS, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC)
Harrisburg, PA – Dreamers from Chester County, Gettysburg, Norristown, Philadelphia and Reading will hold a press conference in collaboration with Juntos and the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC) to call on members of the Senate Education Committee to bring the PA Dream Act (SB. 713) to an immediate vote.
The PA Dream Act would provide the opportunity for undocumented students who have graduated from high school in Pennsylvania, or have a GED certificate, to pay in state tuition rates at public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth. Due to financial barriers, many undocumented youth feel a sense of hopelessness when asked about the possibility of going to college and with no prospects for higher education, many drop out of high school.
“I believe everyone has an equal right to an education. We are fighting for our dreams and we won’t stop until everyone in the community can achieve that.” said Norristown youth leader Rosemary De la Luz.
Yeny Romero a DREAMer from Reading says “The American dream still lives today in those of us who wish to see prosperous change in the land we were raised in and the land that has become our home.”
The passage of this legislation would give hope to young people and increase high school retention and college enrollment rates. Studies on the impact of tuition equity policies have found that instate tuition policies correlated with a 31% increase in college enrollments among undocumented students. These policies have been found to increase college revenues because they enable students who otherwise would not be able to afford college to enroll at the instate tuition rate. For example, a study from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board showed approximately $11.07 Million in net financial gain to the state of Texas in 2010 after the passing of their tuition equality bill.
Karla Rojas, Dreamer and youth activist with Juntos, said “We have spoken to Senators from both parties from across the state who are in full support of this bill. Therefore, we are urging the Education Committee to bring the PA Dream Act up for a vote now.”
Sixteen other states have already passed in-state tuition bills for undocumented youth with broad bipartisan support, including our neighbors Maryland and New Jersey.