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Dear Editor:
The following press release was released on behalf of Rep. Roybal-Allard (D-CA).

Congresswoman Roybal-Allard, along with Congressman Chris Cannon (R-UT) and Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA), announced an action week in support of their bill, the Student Adjustment Act, at a press conference on Capitol Hill at 12 noon on Thursday, April 10. Cecilia Muņoz, Vice President of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), and an immigrant high school student from Maryland also participated. The week of April 12th through April 18th is a National Week of Action to support immigrant students' aspirations to complete their education and obtain legal status. The week is being planned by numerous national, state, and local organizations from all regions of the country. Activities will include rallies, press conferences, and visits with Members of Congress to build support for the Student Adjustment Act and its Senate companion bill, the DREAM Act. The Student Adjustment Act would help immigrant students to attend college by granting them immigration relief and allowing states to offer them in-state tuition rates if they qualify for state residency. It is estimated that thousands of undocumented immigrants currently reside in the United States and attend public elementary and secondary schools. These long-term residents graduate from U.S. high schools, but due to their undocumented status, face greater challenges in obtaining a college education. The Student Adjustment Act would provide relief to these students who, through no fault of their own, were brought here illegally by their parents and have lived in this country for at least five years. "The Student Adjustment Act is needed because thousands of talented qualified children are unable to receive a college education," said Roybal-Allard. "As a result, our country is losing the benefit of their talent and potential contributions. This legislation is especially important now when the nation is experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals in careers such as nursing, teaching and computer engineering." Currently, colleges and universities are not expressly barred from admitting undocumented immigrants and therefore make enrollment decisions on a case-by-case basis. If they do enroll an undocumented immigrant, the student is charged out-of-state or international tuition rates, even when the student has met the in-state residency requirements. These rates are triple the cost of in-state tuition rates and present a financial burden on the immigrant students. "These students must still meet the same admission criteria as all other applicants," said Roybal-Allard. "The bill simply allows states to grant talented, academically qualified youth an opportunity to pay in-state tuition if they also meet state residency requirements. Removing this financial burden will give many deserving students the chance to fulfill their dream of going to college. And, it will allow American society as whole to gain from their economic and social contributions."

Kelly Lizarraga
Communications For Rep. Roybal-Allard (D-CA)