Silicon Valley Leaders Fund Effort to Help DREAM Students

Laurene Powell Jobs

Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs,

Although the DREAM Act remains stalled in Congress, students and youth activists across the U.S. continue to mobilize, march and fight for legislation that would provide a pathway to legal status for thousands of deserving undocumented students. But they aren’t the only ones fighting for a fair way forward for these students. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that a group of technology leaders from Silicon Valley are providing scholarships, career advice and legal assistance to undocumented students through a campaign called Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC). Backers of E4FC— and initiatives like it—include Jeff Hawkins of Palm Pilot; Andrew Grove, cofounder of Intel; and Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple’s Steve Jobs.

E4FC founder Katharine Gin said the project was initially just going to provide scholarships to get the students through college, assuming Congress would pass the DREAM Act and they would receive legal status and be able to work. However, Congress’s failure has prompted E4FC to expand its mission.

“We think Congress’s inaction…is devastating for these students and tragic for the country,” saidMs. Powell Jobs, who was one of the first in the tech community to champion the Dream Act by lobbying her congresswoman and writing an op-ed piece supporting the legislation.

Some of the Silicon Valley leaders are considering offering unpaid internships as a way to bring outstanding students to the attention of employers who may sponsor them for visas. One undocumented 23-year-old with a degree in civil engineering reported that he had five job offers in the last two months, offers that were eventually revoked due to his immigration status, according to the Journal.

Unfortunately, some legislators remain close-minded about the potential of DREAMers. Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida and potential Vice-Presidential candidate, recently  met with an undocumented high school valedictorian Daniela Pelaez, who is facing deportation. Rubio refused to endorse the DREAM Act, calling it the “wrong way to do the right thing.”  Rubio continued:

Instead, my hope is to come up with a bi-partisan solution to this problem. One that does not reward or encourage illegal immigration by granting amnesty, but helps accommodate talented young people like Daniela, who find themselves undocumented through no fault of their own.

Which is exactly what the DREAM Act is. Not so long ago, the DREAM Act passed each chamber with strong bipartisan support, proving both political parties could come together to support a commonsense immigration reform measure. Now fairness and compassion has taken a back seat to politics, which leaves hard-working, deserving students with few options.

michele waslinFor their part, high tech backers of initiatives to help undocumented students just want to continue the forward educational and career momentum these bright students have already started. Eva Grove, wife of Intel cofounder Andrew Grove, said it best:

“The U.S. has put a lot of money into [undocumented students] already. It makes no sense to dead-end them after they are educated.”

Michele Waslin
Immigration Impact 

Published by the LA Progressive on March 15, 2012
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About Michele Waslin

Michele Waslin, Ph.D., is the Senior Policy Analyst at the Immigration Policy Center. She has authored several publications on immigration policy and post-9/11 immigration issues. Ms. Waslin appears regularly in English and Spanish-language media. Previously, she worked as Director of Immigration Policy Research at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Policy Coordinator at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. She received her Ph.D. in 2002 in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Political Science from Creighton University. (mwaslin@ailf.org)

Comments

  1. ReverendDraco says:

    This almost makes me with I was a Criminal Trespasser instead of the child of hard-working White people – perhaps I wouldn’t have had to drop out of college, give up a Computer Science degree, and become a Truck Driver because I was too poor for grants or loans. . . And then spend the rest of my adult life paying for Criminal Trespassers to get free housing, free food, free schooling, free medical care. . .

    If you Criminal Trespasser Apologists spent as much time and concern on students who are Citizens instead of Habitual Criminals, there’s a good possibility that the US would have a higher literacy rate than some Third World Countries. . .

    “The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment
    (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds
    in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of
    34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a
    below-average 25th for mathematics.”

    Gotta love it – tripping over your genitalia in an effort to get more free stuff for criminals, while ignoring US Citizens. . . As far as I’m concerned, that falls under the heading of “Giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemies of the US.”

  2. JackBlack says:

    Hey, my kids are hard working students. Why don’t you help pay for their college instead of the children of illegal aliens. Oh wait, they’re white kids. I get it, they’re on their own. As white, blue collar Americans they should have to pay for their own higher education, right? Because of all the advantages they have in life. Which is why I had to work my way through school and still came out of college owing tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. Meanwhile, my half sister got a free ride through college. Same family, same finances, lower grades than mine, but she’s mixed race, and therefore scholarship material. Yeah right.
     

    One undocumented 23-year-old with a degree in civil engineering reported that he had five job offers in the last two months, offers that were eventually revoked due to his immigration status,

     
    I can’t get a job in this economy, but this guy has been offered five jobs in the past two months. Oh, illegal aliens have it soooo hard…
     

    “The U.S. has put a lot of money into [undocumented students] already. It makes no sense to dead-end them after they are educated.”

     
    Illegal aliens break into the country, steal our resources, get a free education and now demand citizenship for the privilege of attending our publically funded colleges. And progressives are falling all over themselves trying to help them.
     
    E4FC supporters like Andrew Grove Laurene Powell Jobs got rich from our tax money spent on overpriced products. Now after ripping off the public for years, they want to turn those profits over to illegal aliens who will further degrade our childrens’ futures by sucking up tax money and taking jobs and college seats.
     
    You want to know why so many moderate Americans reject liberal policies? Because liberals stupidly prioritize everyone except those of us you hope to get votes from.
     
    I want a job. I’m a good employee. My kids are good students. They deserve the support of my community, they deserve to benefit from my long years of paying taxes, my time spent in the military defending our nation. Is my country helping us? No, because liberals are too busy trying to take care of the illegal aliens and they don’t give a whit about their neighbors who are struggling right here in front of them. They don’t care that those illegal aliens have jumped ahead potential immigrants who are willing to wait their turn to come here. They don’t care that these “DREAMers” will be taking college seats and jobs from my kids.
     
    Fine. Go pay for college for an illegal alien. But don’t expect to get my vote when you trash my kids’ futures in favor of supporting people who break the law.

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