Local students, children of immigrants, and their allies rallied all winter long for passage of the DREAM Act, a national bill that would create a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who graduate from American high schools.
The bill failed to pass nationally, but maybe the dream isn't dead. A bipartisan coalition today proposed a similar bill for Oregon—it wouldn't give undocumented high school grads citizenship, but it would allow them to pay in-state tuition at Oregon universities if they've attended an Oregon high school for at least three years.
It's a half-step, but it's pretty much all the state can do, since it can't grant citizenship. It's heartbreaking to talk with kids who have grown up in Oregon, but feel their lives stall after they graduate from high schools because they don't have the money to pay out-of-state tuition at a four year college. And it doesn't make any sense to hold back motivated young people who want to become better educated and contribute to society. The bill's sponsors are Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), Senator Frank Morse (R-Albany), and Sen. David Nelson (R-Pendleton), I hope they can pull it off.