October 18, 2013

Lecture Series Kicks Off with Seminar on DREAM Act

VALDOSTA – The 2013-2014 College of Arts and Science Lecture Series kicks off with a seminar on the proposed DREAM (Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act, which will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23 in the Bailey Science Center, Room 1011.

Hosted by the College of Arts and Science and the Department of Modern and Classical Language, the seminar will address facts surrounding the proposed DREAM Act - a bipartisan legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for eligible unauthorized youth and young adults who were brought to the United States as children.

“The Department of Modern and Classical Languages is proud to be joining with the College of Arts and Sciences to host a full discussion of the DREAM Act,” said Dr. Viki Soady, department head. “It is a little known fact that recent changes in Georgia have actually loosened the restrictions on young Dreamers who are in this state and this country because of the decisions made by their parents and families. Many of them have known no home and no life except what they have experienced in the United States. Thousands of young Hispanics are affected by these changes in Georgia alone. President Obama has stated that now that the budget crises are abated, he will turn once again to the vital issue of immigration reform.”

Speakers for the event include Jerry Gonzalez, the founder and executive director of The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) and the Galeo Latino Community Development Fund; Israel Cortez, the region’s migrant director for the State Board of Education; and Rocky Rawcliffe, immigration attorney at Kuck Immigrations Partners LLC.

“Israel comes from migrant roots and works energetically every day to connect young Hispanics with the educational opportunities that are available,” said Soady. “Jerry Gonzalez will inform us of proposed strategies both at the state and national level, and Atlanta Immigration Attorney Rocky Rawcliffe will address questions concerning how changes are affecting real individuals who for apply for legal status.”

While the DREAM Act has not been passed into law, the US Department of Homeland Security has not deported undocumented youth who are eligible for the DREAM Act since June 2012. Instead, they are given “deferred action” which gives them temporary permission to remain in the U.S. This program is referred to as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

“Here is a statistic that clearly indicates what positive effects can emerge from such a bill:  Creating a path to citizenship for undocumented youth will add $329B to economy by 2030,” said Soady.

The seminar is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at (229) 333-5948.

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.