AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, each year, American high schools grant diplomas to about 65,000 immigrant students who were brought to this country at a young age. Many of these youth have attended U.S. schools for most of their lives, but their immigration status bars them from opportunities that make a college education affordable, including in-state tuition rates, loans and grants, most private scholarships, and the ability to work legally; and

WHEREAS, immigrant students lacking legal U.S. residency have had no other means of legalizing their status and, therefore, should now be given the chance to "get in line," while pursuing postsecondary education, obtain legal status and become citizens of the country they call home, the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (hereon referred to as the DREAM Act) was first introduced in the U.S. Senate in 2001, subsequently amended through the years but failed eight votes short of reaching closure on Oct. 24, 2007; and

WHEREAS, the federal passage of the DREAM Act would make legally self-evident what is true in "de facto"; these undocumented students belong in our postsecondary institutions and are an American investment that we must not squander; and

WHEREAS, the DREAM Act has four basic requirements. A student must have:

  • entered the country before the age of 16;
  • graduated from high school or obtained a GED;
  • good moral character (no criminal record); and
  • at least five years of continuous presence in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, similar legislation was introduced in the New York State Senate and enacted into law by the governor in 2002; this Act amended the education law, in relation to payment of tuition and fees charged to nonresident students of SUNY, CUNY and community colleges:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers use whatever means at its disposal to lobby Congress to support the passage of this proposed legislation; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT publicize to its members the importance of supporting this legislation; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT work to expand our lobbying efforts for passage of the DREAM Act into other states.