Contact: Justin Valas

***For Immediate Release***


Undocumented youth, allies stand in silent solidarity calling on Senator Kay Hagan to support the DREAM Act

Raleigh, NC – Immigrant youth and their allies plan to gather outside of Senator Kay Hagan’s Raleigh office building at 310 New Bern Avenue on September 16th, to hold a mock graduation ceremony to show their support for the bi-partisan piece of legislation known as the DREAM Act. As the students claim their diplomas, each will symbolically tape over their mouths, in solidarity with the tens of thousands of youth throughout North Carolina who are kept quiet and in the shadows due to their immigration status. It is estimated that there are more than 2.1 million undocumented youth -Americans in all but paper- who call the United States home and are working for a chance to be fully recognized.

The DREAM Act has gained momentum and support over the summer and will likely face a vote on the Senate floor in the coming week. Despite polls showing 70% of voters support the DREAM Act, neither of North Carolina’s Senators have come out in support of the bill. Members of the NC DREAM Team urged those who support access to education for immigrant youth to join them in calling for Senator Kay Hagan to co-sponsor and support the DREAM Act.

“As Senator Hagan knows, you do not make a difference by standing on the sideline. That’s why we are out here in front of her office. We are making a difference, and urging her to do the same.” said Rosario Lopez, a member of the NC DREAM Team who took part in a hunger strike for the DREAM Act earlier this summer.

The NC DREAM Team is calling on Senator Hagan to build a brighter future for all of North Carolina’s students by co-sponsoring and supporting the DREAM Act. The Senator has previously stated that she does not support the DREAM Act as a stand-alone bill, but would consider some of its provisions in the context of a comprehensive immigration reform.

The event will start at 5:30pm on Thursday, September 16th in front of Senator Hagan’s Raleigh office at 310 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh, NC

About the DREAM Act:
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) is a bipartisan piece of legislation first introduced in 2001. The bill proposes to create an avenue for immigrant youth who have been present in the United States for the 5 years preceding passage of the bill; arrived in the US before the age of 16; have graduated from high school or obtained a GED; posses ‘good moral character’; and complete either two years towards a college degree or two years of military service to earn their permanent residency. The bill would also restore the states’ right to decide whether or not to offer in-state tuition to undocumented student residents, which they cannot do under current federal law.