CHICAGO, Ill. (IRN/KMOX) – A researcher at the University of Chicago has words of caution regarding the Illinois Dream Act.
Roberto Gonzales, a professor in the School of Social Service Administration, studied students who immigrated to the U.S. illegally as children with their parents. Those who went to college did fine academically, but job prospects that make use of their degrees are dim without legal status.
“Many of them end up in jobs in restaurants, some working in factories, some doing landscaping. Others, more industrious, start a tutoring businesses, worked at not-for-profits, sold cosmetics,” he said.
Gonzales studied 150 individuals in this category, age 20-34. Half of those went to college, 22 graduated with a four-year degree, and nine went on to graduate-level study.
The Illinois Dream Act aims to collect private funds to help these students get higher education, but it offers no status adjustment.
Gonzales says the solution is the federal DREAM Act, which confers legal status to individuals who came to the country with their parents before age 16 and either enroll in college or enlist in the military. It has been debated in Congress for 10 years, but has not passed.