While the anti-immigrant rhetoric of this fall's campaigns may point to more shortsighted state proposals in 2011, states and municipalities have already begun expanding educational access for undocumented students to attend state universities and community colleges. These state and local efforts will hopefully build even more support at the federal level as Congressional leaders with President Obama and Speaker Pelosi's support prepare to re-introduce the DREAM Act in the upcoming lame-duck session.
The dream of attaining a college education was once again deferred for thousands of immigrant children across the nation, as a critical Defense Authorization Bill that included an amendment to enact the DREAM Act failed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.
We have much to report in this Update from the State Immigration Project, and not only in response to Arizona’s recent anti-immigrant law (SB 1070) and its aftermath.
A broad network of elected officials, State Legislators for Progressive Immigration Policy (SLPIP), continues to grow and now includes legislators from twenty nine states;
Despite considerable mainstream media coverage of anti-immigrant proposals, state legislators are advancing pro-immigrant legislation and have largely blocked anti-immigrant bills being pushed in the wake of Arizona’s law;
A federal judge has blocked implementation of most provisions of SB 1070;
Based on state policy models, the federal DREAM Act to support a path to legalization and access to higher education for immigrant youth continues to gain support;
A wide range of policy and polling resources have been released that support pro-immigrant action from legislators and advocates.