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Catherine Orr, a North Carolina-based documentarian, will be screening her film “Dreams Delayed” tonight, May 4 in Carroll Hall (room 305) at UNC Chapel Hill. The film will discuss the lives of undocumented immigrants, educators and those affected by both immigration policy and a lack of access to education. Our own Jose Rico will be featured in the film and joining the conversation afterward.

Preview:

Go here for the Facebook event.


Image via Technorati

Last Friday, a bill that would allow in-state tuition for undocumented students in Colorado has been approved by the state Senate Education Committee.

Senate Bill 126 would allow in-state tuition, but not government financial aid. One attorney based in Denver (CO), Tim Paynter, says that this bill should be used as an opportunity to stop cyclical poverty for immigrant youth.

“It is a chance to break the chain of poverty handed down from one generation to the next. Many youths who go to college work hard to pass the opportunity along to their own children, hence improving society. Sadly, for undocumented youth, such dreams remain the luxury for others.”

(Follow his blog here to find out more of what you can do.)

While States like Colorado and Virginia are moving forward, North Carolina and Georgia are falling behind. If you haven’t taken action against the college ban in North Carolina (HB 11), call House Speaker Thom Tillis at 919-733-3451 (or toll free at 800-567-2285).

Sign the petition against HB11 in North Carolina.

Also sign the petition against Georgia’s HB 59.

We need to you sign this petition against North Carolina’s HB11, which would ban undocumented students from attending public colleges and universities in North Carolina. Amazingly, it wouldn’t stop taking their tax money that helps pay for public services. You can also call NC Speaker Thom Tillis at 919-733-3451 or toll free at 800-567-2285.

Georgia needs you to sign this petition against HB59, a bill that would do the same in that state.

Yesterday, Virginia won its battle to keep the school doors open. So can we.

This is great news.

HB1465, which would have required public colleges and universities in Virginia to write policies denying enrollment to undocumented immigrants, was decisively shot down today in the state Senate.

Isabel Castillo, who graduated magna cum laude from Eastern Mennonite University in 2009, gave testimony on the legislation before the Senate Courts and Justice Subcommittee (Video via VA Interfaith Center):

The Committee also shot down House Bill 2332, which would have required local law officials to enforce federal immigration law. No small victory there, either.

Castillo is a co-founder of DREAMActivist Virginia, which along with us is part of the new National Immigrant Youth Alliance. Castillo was also one of several DREAMers arrested during a sit-in in Washington D.C. last year. If you’re on Facebook, take a minute to congratulate Virginia on their victory.

Don’t forget that we’ve got to win against HB11, a bill here in North Carolina that would do the same thing as HB1465. Sign the petition To help bring the victories southward.

Georgia also needs your help. Sign this petition to fight against HB59.

By Alicia Torres

The Education Committee, which will see HB11 (the bill that would ban undocumented immigrants from attending public colleges and universities) will meet tomorrow, February 8 at 10am. Call everyone in this committee and let them know that as a North Carolinian you want to slam shut the doors on HB11, not aspiring youth.

Fax: 919-733-2599, 919-733-3113 , 919-715-5815

Representative

Chairman: Bryan Holloway (former educator) 919–733-5609

V. Chairman : Martha Alexander 919-733-5807

Marilyn Avila 919-733-5530

Tricia Cotham 919-715-0706

Mark Hilton 919-733-5988

Linda Johnson 919-733-5861

James Langdon (former educator) 919-733-5849

Marvin Lucas (former principal) 919-733-5775

Every political stripe should speak out against bad policy, and we are glad to see that Matt Drew, the Chair of the Durham County Libertarian Party has spoken out against the bill that would ban undocumented immigrants from attending college.

“Contrary to their assertions, this bill will not drive these immigrants away; these kids have nowhere else to go and North Carolina is the only home they’ve ever known. Instead, the bill will perpetuate a less-educated immigrant underclass that’s forced to live outside the rule of law and exposed to crime and abuse.”

Read his entire op-ed in the Durham News.

Representative George Cleveland (R – Onslow) has introduced HB 11, a bill that would ban undocumented immigrants from North Carolina’s public universities and community colleges. The NC DREAM Team is asking for opponents of this bill to call Speaker Thom Tillis (R – Mecklenburg) and urge him to prevent the bill from making it to the House floor (call 919-733-3451).

Yesterday a member of the NC DREAM Team sent an e-mail expressing their disappointment in the legislation. “It is saddening that one of our state’s representatives would go out of their way to deny a segment of our state’s population the right to educate and better themselves,” said Ian Smith-Overman, the member who sent the e-mail. “I believe your decision to sponsor this bill is short-sighted at best and vindictive at its worst.”

Rep. Cleveland responded within five hours. “I find it revolting that an American thinks that we should financially support people that cannot legally work in this country through taxpayer subsidized education,” he said. “If you feel so strongly about this issue find an illegal and pay for their education at a private university.”

The response from Rep. Cleveland demonstrates that he is not aware that the North Carolina Department of Revenue collects income tax from undocumented immigrants using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, or ITINs, which have been issued by the Internal Revenue Service since 1996. The NC DREAM Team believes that undocumented immigrants not only have a right to attend public post-secondary education in North Carolina, but should also only pay in-state tuition as tax-paying state residents.

While the North Carolina economy depends heavily on immigrant labor, particularly in the agriculture and meat-processing industries, the state has continued to march toward policies that harass the communities working in those industries or prohibit their economic advancement through education. In the past ten years, agreements between immigration officials and local police departments that expand police power such as 287(g) and Secure Communities have continued to proliferate across the state; drivers’ licenses are no longer issued to immigrants without visas; and undocumented youth who most often had no say in their migration to North Carolina as minors are forced to pay out-of-state tuition and register last in community colleges.

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@NCDREAMTeam

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