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"The Vexing Progress of the DREAM Act" Subject of Oct. 10 Lecture at Pomona College

Michael A. Olivas, a member of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund  Board of Directors, law professor and author of 14 books, will discuss “Dreams Deferred: Deferred Action, Discretion, and the Vexing Case(s) of DREAM Act Students,” at Pomona College on Monday, Oct. 10, at 8 p.m. The talk will be held in the Pomona College Smith Campus Center’s Rose Hills Theatre (170 E. Sixth St., Claremont). A reception will follow the event. The event is open to the public.

Considered one of the nation's foremost experts on immigrant education, Olivas is the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Houston Law Center and director of its Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance. He is the author or co-author of 14 books. His most recent, No Undocumented Child Left Behind: Player v. Doe and the Education of Undocumented Schoolchildren will be published in January by NYU Press.  Both the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston have given him awards for lifetime achievement. In 1994, he was awarded the Research Achievement Award by the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), which also awarded him its 2000 Special Merit Award.

As part of his talk, Olivas will give an update of the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act at both the national and state level. Members of the U.S. House and Senate have introduced several versions of the bill since 2001. In fall, 2010, at the urging of Latino groups, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) brought forward a bill, the DREAM Act, as the first building block toward future comprehensive reforms. As had been the case in 2007, the DREAM Act was tantalizingly close and followed many public stories about undocumented college students in the media. Democratic backers of the legislation fell short of the 60 Senate votes required to move the DREAM Act legislation forward.

The action at the state level has increased, and a number of developments have occurred since the December 2010 Congressional failure. Connecticut passed a resident tuition bill, but legislation enacted in Wisconsin was rescinded. Legislation in Maryland is on hold, pending a statewide ballot measure. Litigation has occurred in California, Maryland, Nebraska and Texas—either upholding state statutes or attempting to strike down restrictionist efforts to eliminate the recent tuition provisions.

Professor Olivas, who helped the State of Texas draft its original statute, assisted other states in enacting resident statutes and who has litigated these matters and, will review these developments, and discuss the rise of these statutes and the discourse aimed at thwarting immigration reform.

For information, contact (909) 621-1861.