BAMN praises the expected signing of the Illinois Dream Act into law today. The bill gives undocumented students access to private scholarships and signifies a step forward in ending the second-class treatment of undocumented youth in the state of Illinois.
“The bill is an enormous victory for our movement and represents an acknowledgement by the State of Illinois that undocumented students have a right to equal and accessible education,” said Shanta Driver, BAMN National Chair. “Along with the passage of AB 130, part of the California Dream Act, this bill is a move towards ending discriminatory financial aid policies of Universities around the country.”
The Illinois Dream Act will allow for the appointment of a panel that will seek donations from private funders. It will also seek to educate college admissions offices and high school counselors in Illinois on the needs of undocumented students.
Undocumented students still do not have access to state financial aid in Illinois, such as MAP Grant funding and other publicly funded scholarships.
“Our movement will keep fighting until every undocumented student in Illinois is afforded the same educational and job opportunities as every other student in this state,” said University of Illinois BAMN student organizer Ben Rothschild and student senator. “We are seeking to get rid of every vestige of the Jim Crow second-class treatment of undocumented immigrants.”