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Brown president joins calls for passage of ‘DREAM’ act

November 30, 2010

Brown President Ruth Simmons will be with student activists today who are asking Congress to pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow students in this country illegally to become citizens. 

Simmons and her colleagues plan to sign a letter to Rhode Island’s congressional delegation urging passage of the bill, which provides a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who complete a college degree or serve at least two years in the military.

Many students and faculty at Brown have a personal reason for supporting the bill. A Brown graduate student, Tam Tran, was killed earlier this year in a car accident and was an outspoken proponent of the act.

Tran’s parents were Vietnamese refugees who came to the US via Germany. US officials ordered the family back to Germany, but the German government refused to let them return. Tran told her story during a 2007 congressional hearing.

Advocates of the DREAM Act have dubbed today a day of action in support of what they estimate to be 65,000 students who graduate each year from US high schools but are not legal residents.

Critics of the proposed law say it would reward people who overstay their visas or enter the county illegally.

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