Immigrants come to the U.S. for many reasons, economic reasons for the most part, but also to take part in the American Dream. Education can be seen as a class issue, particularly when it comes to a college education, regardless of citizenship. The children of undocumented immigrants grow up in this unique situation – one that often goes beyond the current political battles we see being waged on cable news channels. I’ve read countless stories about those wedged between the legal jargon which prohibits them from U.S. citizenship and the rewards of this country’s educational system. Yet despite the challenges faced by many of these students, they find a way to succeed and thrive in an educational setting. Many could not imagine having to attend and do well in an educational environment with such a cloud hanging over their heads.
Yet, today I came across two illustrations (here and here) of how children of undocumented immigrants overcome, blossom, and are successful in their academic pursuits. These students have worked hard in the hopes of a better future – yet they often live in the shadows of a society that has yet to formally accept them. One of the biggest threats facing the United States today is the current racial and political division. Whether it’s the economy, healthcare, the environment, or immigration, real solutions – driven by people wanting to do the right thing – must be sought and then implemented to ease some of the growing tensions we see occurring. We must find a way to foster constructive and civil dialogues so that students like these can share the important contributions they hope to make – as well live their American Dream.
Update: Here’s an article that describes the experiences a four students who have made a 1,500 mile trek to build awareness about the Dream Act.