I am writing to express my strong support for legislation in the State of New Jersey, known as the Dream Act, which currently is making its way through the state legislature. This bill is designed to offer students who do not possess lawful immigration status the ability to pay in-state tuition rates at the State’s public institutions of higher education, if interested students meet certain requirements.
This bill has caused a great deal of controversy, but I remain adamantly supportive of this measure, as I have witnessed, firsthand, the devastating impact of having to explain to a student, who is an overachiever, that there are no more options to advance in academia, potentially ending dreams and aspirations of success. Prospective students should have countless opportunities to further their careers and secure the American Dream.
Of course, I understand the precarious status of these students, but it is critical to bear in mind that those same students were not willful participants in arriving in the United States, without going through proper channels. Students who arrive here and pursue success should be commended for facing adversity, such as language barriers and reduced earning power of their families. It would be despicable to shun a generation of young residents who only wish to assimilate into American culture and create productive households for future generations.
The Dream Act wholly trumpets the American spirit and it is my contention that this legislation offers hope not only for the students who may benefit, but it offers hope for us as a nation and state, as this bill advances the concepts on which our nation were founded.
As we look to the future, we should continue to be proud of our adversity but celebrate our togetherness and common interests, instead of focusing on our differences. Of course, we are all proud of our ancestors and the cultures that have shaped us, but I think it is time to recognize and celebrate that we are all far more similar that we are different, especially when making dreams come true for all of our young residents.
Brian P. Stack