Local students gather in support of Dream Act
CARBONDALE – Alex Alvarado came to the United States from Mexico when he was just 2 years old, along with his family which was following a hope for a better life than what was possible in their home country.
Like many children of undocumented immigrants, he’s never known another home other than the town he came to in the United States, in this case Carbondale.
He has attended local schools all his life, and is now co-president of the Roaring Fork High School student council, a member of the Rams soccer team and is involved in other ways in his school and the larger community.
He volunteered on the “Green Team” at Mountain Fair this summer, is an usher at his church and helps organize numerous school and community events.
“As an active member of the community, I’m here to support the many students around our valley that will be tremendously helped with the Dream Act,” Alvarado said at a Wednesday evening rally in Carbondale’s Sopris Park. The Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition (CIRC) and a local group, Congregations and Schools Empowered, organized the event.
“My cultural diversity of being born in Mexico and being raised in the United States has left me with a gap between my current legal status and my dreams of becoming the first in my family to attend a university,” said Alvarado, who wants to study to be a teacher after he graduates from Roaring Fork High next spring.
The Dream Act would provide a pathway to legal status for Alvarado and other children of undocumented immigrants who came to the country before age 16 and have been in the United States for more than five years. The bipartisan legislation would require youth to complete at least two years of college or military service in order to be eligible for citizenship.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate, in a Republican-led effort, failed to reach the 60 votes needed to move forward the 2010 Defense Authorization Bill. The bill included the Dream Act because of the potential new military recruits it would create.
“It is immoral and reprehensible for the Republican opposition to deny talented, hard-working youth a chance to follow their dreams,” said Brendan Greene, regional coordinator for CIRC.
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