Pierce’s Dream Outreach Club speaks up

“Say what? Dream Act. Pass it now. Dream Act,” echoed throughout the mall at Pierce College during a rally held by the Dream Outreach Club on campus Nov. 17.

Over a dozen students marched in sync holding signs and posters while bystanders gathered around to find out what all the commotion was about.

Approximately 30 students were in attendance from different community college campuses to come together and support a common interest, the Dream Act.

“Over 40 plus colleges take part in this [movement] to give representation and make California one of the strongholds to bring some reform for our nation,” said Regem Corpus, president of the Dream Outreach Club at Pierce.

The Dream Outreach Club at Pierce is a student activist organization that advocates the Dream Act and immigration reform, according to Corpus.

The Dream Act is meant to help immigrant students obtain a pathway to citizenship.

The current legislation, AB540, allows immigrant students the right to a college education.

The problem lies in the immigration system.

While these immigrants originally came here legally, their visas would expire and getting them renewed is “almost impossible,” according to Corpus.

“The paperwork would get lost so therefore they become undocumented,” said Corpus. “They have the option of deportation or staying here. If they go home it wil take them even more years to come back with a visa.”

For ten years, the Dream Act has been accumulating dust while sitting in a jam-packed bookshelf awaiting its turn on the ballot.

President Barack Obama will introduce the Dream Act to congress on Nov. 29.

If it gets put on the ballot for the senate to vote on it would be within the next two months, according to Corpus.

The Dream Act will grant undocumented students permanent residency in the United States after completing six years worth of requirements.

At the moment, these students can obtain a bachelor’s degree, but are unable to use it for career purposes.

These students cannot get jobs because they don’t have legal citizenship.

Permanent residency would allow immigrant students the ability to accomplish their dreams and aspirations, according to Corpus.

As long as the students follow the set requirements, they cant obtain a bachelor’s degree according to Angel Silva, Valley College Student and member of the Dreamers Movement Union.

“It’s a useful law to help undocumented students be more active in this country,” said Crisoforo Gonzalez, a Valley College student and member of the Dreamers Movement Union.

While the Dream Act isn’t as wide extended as many believe, it’s a starting block for paving the way to creating change within the country, according to Corpus.

“[AB540 students] want to serve this nation. They want to give back to our community,” said Corpus. “I think we as college students should support this by joining in and telling Congress that we need the dream act passed so we can get equal opportunity because this is part of civil rights.”

About 30 students from Pierce College and other community colleges march down the Mall to gain supporters and inform the campus. The Dream Outreach Club hosted this protest. (David Schub/ Roundup)