April 23, 2009
Mr. Ryan Brown
Emerson College Production Office
180 Tremont St., Room 701
Boston, MA 02116
Let Students DREAM
Dear Mr. Brown:
National concern over the issue of immigration has grown recently after a tragic event left immigrants from 8 countries dead at a naturalization-tutoring center in Binghamton, New York. The victims of this tragedy were enrolled in classes that would help them gain citizenship. Although these victims were attempting to receive an education, they were students at risk and this is precisely why it is imperative that we come together to promote immigration reform. In order to promote acceptance and assimilation for students who despite being labeled “illegal aliens,” have succeeded in furthering their education, it is important that people understand how they can get involved in this movement. By raising awareness about legislation that could possibly help students pursue an education, voters could help influence lawmakers. In order to begin this movement, a group of Emersonians have created a public advocacy campaign video titled, “Let Students DREAM,” that focuses on promoting legislation that could influence lawmakers to offer undocumented immigrants citizenship. Therefore, if the Emerson Channel helps to promote immigration reform throughout the Emerson College community by airing this video, not only would students be able continue to pursue education in the United States, but Emersonians would also become involved in a project that would better serve the entire student body by educating them on an important issue.
According to the 2006 Census Bureau, over 12 million illegal immigrants have arrived in the United States since the year 2000. This number will continue to increase, while illegal immigrants continue to end their studies after high school, because they cannot enroll in a university. Of the 12 million illegal immigrants who have arrived, over 250,000 immigrants currently reside in the state of Massachusetts. Many of these immigrants are your neighbors, friends, and even family members. They are all at risk of being victims of an unjust system that does not consider a student’s moral character when deciding if they should be allowed to stay in this country. If our government chooses to ignore the current system in place, thousands of students will graduate high school without being able to continue their education. America would lose an educated class of promising students who have demonstrated commitment to hard work and a strong desire to be contributing members of our society. In order to promote educational growth, we must force our government to change the system. The Emerson Channel can help to spread our message to hundreds of students and voters, who have the power to influence our congressman to pass laws that will reform immigration in this country. It is your duty, and your personal responsibility to promote awareness and spread positive messages to our student body. Therefore, the Emerson Channel has the power to bridge the divide that has prevented legislators from helping students further their education. If the Emerson Channel promotes new legislation through our public advocacy campaign video, it would better serve Emersonians and the lives of thousands of students across the country.
By producing and airing our advocacy campaign video, students would learn about the DREAM Act, which was proposed to Congress last month. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, would help illegal students gain citizenship. The federal bill would provide undocumented immigrant youth in the United States with conditional residency and a pathway to citizenship provided they came here before the age of 16, maintained continuous residence for 5 years, graduate from high school or obtain a GED, attend 2 years of college or join the military and have no criminal records. The Dream Act Organization estimated that 65,000 students could benefit from the DREAM Act, which would allow them to acquire a degree from any accredited university or college in America. If we begin informing students on a local level, throughout campus, we could potentially spread our message to other universities. Therefore, if the Emerson Channel airs our public advocacy campaign video, we could potentially influence the masses and help other college students achieve their dreams by granting them the right to remain in this country.
Our public advocacy campaign video titled, “Let Students DREAM,” would target Emersonians in order to help them make informed decisions regarding immigration in America. If we inform students about the bill, it would be easier to influence policy makers from their home states. By doing this, we could spread our influence and promote Congress’s passage of the DREAM ACT. With the help of the Emerson Channel’s staff we could also produce a video that would share the stories of students who all “dream.” By exposing this simple fact, those who might not realize how real and serious this issue is will learn about how they can get involved in a movement to help students continue their education. Our viewers would be able to relate to our campaign video through personal stories that can help students visualize and understand how immigration can affect them both directly and indirectly.
If we can convince our state representatives in Congress, to support the bill, thousands of students across the country would be able to continue their education and complete a degree in the United States. The tension that builds due to the fear of deportation would be eliminated and we could promote the American dream while we allow students to succeed in our universities. It is your responsibility to inform Emersonians about important issues through original programming. You can do exactly this if you air our video and help spread our message in order to help students make their dreams a reality.