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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2018 02:29 PM
From: Senator Judith L. Schwank
To: All Senate members
Subject: PA DREAM Act

In the near future, I will re-introduce SB 825 of the 2017-2018 session, legislation to allow certain Pennsylvania high school graduates and residents to continue their education despite being undocumented immigrants.
My proposal is closely modeled on legislation previously introduced by former-Senator, Congressman Lloyd Smucker, to make resident students who complete at least their final two years of high school here and graduate or obtain an equivalency certificate, eligible for resident tuition rates at state and state-supported schools. They also would be eligible for PHEAA assistance at public and private schools in the Commonwealth.
Immigration policy remains an unresolved issue to which states must respond without having the ability to resolve it. These steps will not change that debate. They will only recognize the reality in our neighborhoods that many of our immigrant neighbors, classmates and friends have lived most of their lives in our communities and are now part of them, regardless how federal policy is determined in the future. Whether they can be productive and helpful parts is a choice the state can and must make. The benefits of their education will not be limited to the students who receive it, but will flow throughout their communities and the Commonwealth itself. The alternative offers no hope or benefit to anyone.
More than a dozen states have adopted some form of Dream Act. I hope you will consider support for this now in Pennsylvania. Co-sponsors last session were Senators Leach, Costa, Brewster, Street, Hughes, Tartaglione and Dinniman.

Introduced as SB35