Is the new STARS bill better than the DREAM Act?
I'm honestly not sure how to react to the new bill, Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status Act (or STARS), that was introduced into congress this week.
On the one hand, I'm really proud that Latina high school valedictoria Daniela Pelaez has worked hard on it. On the other hand, it provides reform to the DREAM Act—but not necessarily as much as I would have liked to see since, just like Marco Rubio's rewriting of the DREAM Act, it doesn't guarantee citizenship to well-deserving kids going to college.
Read more ¿Qué más? Marco Rubio rewrites DREAM Act, leaves dream out
What I love about the STARS Act is that, at it's core, it is there to help students like Daniela help achieve their college dreams. She came close to being deported almost two months ago but has turned her tragedy into her new passion with the bill that would allow undocumented students to remain in the U.S. if they get a college degree. She explains to MSNBC.com why she threw her support behind this bill:
It would be amazing. It's the only concrete solution people like myself and other kids (in my situation) have to stay in the U.S. The foundation is recognizing that we are here -- these students are undocumented and want to have the American dream. It has everything to offer -- my future, the future for my family, my education, my career. It's my home. It's the only thing I know.
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Daniela's story is a similar one, since so many of us come here with our parents when we are very young and the U.S. is the only place we can call home. But if your parents came here illegally, then you don't have a lot of good options when it comes to you gaining legal status. Although I would much rather that the DREAM Act pass (since it allows for students like her to also eventually become citizens), this may be a good solution—for now. In the long run, though, I want to see the DREAM Act be a success and for those of us who have spent our entire lives here to be able to call ourselves citizens.
What do you think about the STARS Act? Do you support it or do you with something more like the DREAM Act, which would also allow these students to get citizenship, to be passed by Congress? Share with us in the comments below!
Image via Univisón/tumblr