After awaiting reforms that may or may not come, thousands of young undocumented immigrants have abandoned their American Dream voluntarily or because they were deported. They still consider themselves DREAMers, but now they dream in Mexico. “I returned (to Mexico) because in the U.S. I always wanted to study dentistry. When I graduated from college, I ran into the problem that my great hope, the DREAM Act, still had not been approved,” said Pedro Hernandez, who lived in Los Angeles for eight years.
The DREAM Act — Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors — would remove a roadblock to education and a future in the United States for such youths. Undocumented immigrant youths have the right to study through high school. After that, they can study at private universities — with high costs and without access to student loans — or in public universities — most of which charge them tuition at an “out-of-state” rate, which can be double what in-state students pay. Only some states have laws allowing undocumented students to attend state universities at in-state rates.