University of New Mexico students hosted a DREAM Act rally in support of the bill that would allow undocumented students to continue their education and gain legal residency. The legislation, if passed, would allow undocumented students brought to the country before the age of 16 to gain residency, if they graduated from high school and serve in the military or graduate from college.
"The DREAM Act rally activated the UNM community to push the New Mexico Congressional Delegation to support the DREAM Act," said Christopher Ramírez, project assistant in the UNM Office for Equity and Inclusion.
Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi have both said the DREAM Act will be voted on during the lame-duck session in Congress. A vote could come as early as Monday, Nov. 29.
Ramirez and Eric Castillo, lead project assistant, Project for New Mexico Graduates of Color, rallied students to organize the event during the Thanksgiving break once they realized the vote was imminent.
They organized an impressive group of speakers came out in support of the DREAM Act, including Breda Bova, who represented UNM President David Schmidly and acting president Dr. Paul Roth; Provost Suzanne Ortega; Angelo Gonzales, United States Senator Jeff Bingaman's field representative; Veronica Crispin, U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich's field representative; Vice President of Student Affairs Eliseo "Cheo" Torres; Vice President of Equity and Inclusion, Jozi DeLeon; Graduate and Professional Student Association Council Chair Megan McRoberts; and El Centro de la Raza Director Veronica Mendez-Cruz. Also featured were Vanely Salinas and William Campillo from Albuquerque DREAMers in Action.
Other organizers included the Coalition for Immigration, Race and Social Justice; ENLACE; Lambda Theta Alpha, Latin Sorority Inc; Lambda Theta Phi, Latin Fraternity Inc; Mexican Student Association (MexSA); and the Raza Graduate Student Association (RGSA).
Participants encouraged attendees to call Sen. Bingaman, 505-346-6601 or in Washington, D.C. at 1-800-443-8658; Sen. Tom Udall, 505-346-6791 or in Washington, D.C. at 202-224-6621; and Rep. Martin Heinrich, 505-877-4069, or in Washington, D.C. at 202-225-6316 to voice their support for the DREAM Act.
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