UCLA Students Lobby for DREAM Act

Legislation would allow financial aid for undocumented college students.

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It's a sensitive subject on all sides, and it's one of the many issues entangled in the ongoing immigration policy debate in the United States. It's the DREAM Act, and some UCLA students want the legislation passed.

Several UCLA students spent last Thursday and Friday lobbying for the passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, the Daily Bruin reports. The act would allow undocumented college students to receive financial aid and move along the pathway toward citizenship.

Being one of the major universities closest to the epicenter of the immigration debate—the U.S.-Mexico border—UCLA is a hot spot for the ongoing discussion on how to handle the children of illegal immigrants.

"We've invested in these individuals from kindergarten to 12th grade, and it's important to keep that investment in our country," Allison Clark, a UCLA student and member of Bruin Lobby Corps, tells the Daily Bruin. "There's no difference between them and us. We really are all Americans, whether we're citizens or not. It's just the right thing to do."

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill in 2007, the report says, citing California's financial problems. A few UCLA students met with the staff of California Rep. Brad Sherman on Friday to voice their opinion.

"Most officials who haven't supported the DREAM Act just don't know what it is," says UCLA student Sofia Campos, the daughter of illegal immigrants. That's exactly why the meetings were set up, the report says.

"We wanted to give people all the detailed information so that they were fully prepared for any questions and could make the best arguments possible; they can cover all the bases," the Bruin Lobby Corps's assistant external vice president for local affairs, Caitlin Lawrence-Toombs, tells the Daily Bruin.

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