Voices from a DREAM Act Rally

On Thanksgiving week, as students head home to be with their families, eight undocumented students at the University of Texas at Austin are on hunger strike in solidarity with hundreds of other students across the country. Thier goal is to persuade Republican and a handful of Democratic senators to vote for the DREAM Act during the lame duck session.

For undocumented residents like Julie, 30, this might be their last chance at becoming documented. The cutoff age for the DREAM Act is 35. Julie doesn’t see much hope in a Republican dominated House passing the legislation after January.  Julie has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Nursing from UT Austin. She’s been advocating for the passage of the DREAM Act since the bill was filed a decade ago. “I’m a 30 year-old woman now and I’m still undocumented,” she said. “I want to practice as a military nurse, helping soldiers heal.”

There are an estimated 2 million students like Julie counting on the DREAM Act to pass this year.

The thought of a defeat causes Julies voice to catch with emotion. “I haven’t thought about what will happen if it doesn’t pass,” she says. “I guess we’ll just keep on fighting.”

To hear more from DREAM Act students click here.

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Melissa del Bosque is a staff writer and a 2016-17 Lannan Fellow at The Investigative Fund.