Written by Mariano Cardoso:
August 1, 2011, marked the 10-year anniversary of the federal DREAM Act’s introduction in the U.S. Senate in 2001. The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) is a law that would provide conditional permanent residency to certain undocumented students who arrived in the U.S. as minors, have lived in the country for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment, and have graduated from U.S. high schools. If the student completes two to four years of higher education or serves two years in the military, he or she can obtain temporary residency for six years.
To honor the DREAM Act, and call attention to the ten years that have passed without it becoming law, Mariano Cardoso—a DREAMer from Connecticut himself—interviewed two fellow undocumented students, Melvin Rico and Sofia Campos. Watch their stories below:
Sofia is a 21 year old student at UCLA majoring in International Development Studies and Political Science with a minor in Labor and Work Place Studies. She arrived at Los Angeles from Peru at the age of 6. Currently, she is in her last semester before earning her bachelor’s degree. The rising cost of tuition, coupled with a lack of financial aid, has made her undergraduate degree ever more difficult to attain.
Melvin, an undergrad from UCLA, is an undocumented immigrant student who recently graduated with a degree in Biochemistry. He arrived at Las Venturas, California at the age of 15 from Guatemala. He is now 24 years old living in Ojai, California.