Hernandez Pushes Illinois DREAM Act Out of the House

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education State Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez (D-Cicero) on Monday, May 30 passed Illinois DREAM Act out of the Illinois House of Representatives. The Illinois DREAM Act would create a privately-funded college scholarship program for undocumented students while also increasing college counseling services for these students. “Approximately ninety-five thousand undocumented youths who have successfully finished high school live in Illinois according to the Illinois Coalition for immigrant and Refugee Rights report,” Hernandez said. “Many of these students excelled in their academic work. Despite their success some young immigrants face significant obstacles that prevent them from attending college, including a lack of good information about their educational options and limited financial resources. The Illinois DREAM Act seeks to help undocumented students overcome these obstacles in order to continue their education.”

Senate Bill 2185 is chief co-sponsored by Hernandez and creates the Illinois DREAM Act. Under this act, students who are undocumented immigrants can qualify for a privately-funded scholarship program and would be allowed to participate in state-sponsored college saving programs. It would also create the DREAM Commission to collect private donations for the scholarship fund. To qualify for the scholarship fund, a student must be a child of an immigrant parent, must have attended school in Illinois for at least three years, and must have graduated from an Illinois high school. The Illinois DREAM Act does not in any way guarantee legal status, award work permits or effect immigration issues currently under federal control. The Illinois DREAM Act passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly and advances to the Governor’s office to be signed into law. For more information, please contact Hernandez’s constituent service office at (708) 222-5240.

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