Monday, March 1, 2010

American Dreamer: A Latino USA report on the DREAM Act

On Friday, Latino USA aired the final act of a four-part series featuring individual undocumented students and their dreams of pursuing higher education in America.  The stories are unique and touching.-- Lauren 

Producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister of Long Haul Productions conclude their feature titled American Dreamer about an undocumented student trying to get a college education. As a result of this radio series, The College Board, the non-profit association that monitors standardized tests, invited Sam and other students to New York to their annual conference where they participated on panels on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (or DREAM) Act.

Each year, literally tens of thousands of undocumented students, many of whom were small children when brought to this country, graduate from public high schools. The DREAM Act is a proposed federal law that helps allow these high school graduates to attend college and puts them in a pipeline with an opportunity to earn legal U.S. residency. Despite public support for the legislation, The DREAM Act has been held up in Congress over the politics of immigration.

Because Sam has no legal identification, he could not fly to New York. So producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister drove Sam there and recorded his first public discussion about growing up undocumented in this country. And, as a budding musician, Sam also took advantage to hear some New York-style jazz while taking in some of the tourist sites.

Here now is the finale of “American Dreamer.” (link to audio and other series profiles):

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