UCB student comes out in support of Dream Act

February 14, 2013 6:06:18 PM PST
A U.C. Berkeley student is featured in a nationally released video aimed at building support for a path to citizenship for young immigrants. They're referred to as the "DREAMers."

There are two people behind this video. One is Davis Guggenheim, a well-known director; and Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Terrence Park is finishing up a degree in mathematics and applied statistics at Cal. We caught up with him on the 9th floor of Evans Hall and asked him why he decided to speak out.

"I thought maybe this is the right moment for me to actually contribute something to the movement," Park said.

That movement is called "The Dream is Now." It focuses on urging Congress to pass the Dream Act, which would provide permanent residency to young people like Terrence who were brought to this country as a child by an immigrant parent. He was born in South Korea.

The video released nationwide was directed by Davis Guggenheim of "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Waiting for Superman."

Terrence argues that instead of the government spending money to deport people, someone like him with a college degree would pour more money into the economy.

In the YouTube video the narrator states, "If the Dream Act passes, DREAMers would earn an estimated $148 billion dollars by 2030. So if they're gonna earn that much money, that means they're gonna spend that much money."

Terrence claims if the Dream Act doesn't pass, even with a math degree he won't be able to find a good paying job.

"Just find a job that is willing to pay me under the table," Park said. "I've done supermarkets, laundry, things like that."

Rick Oltman of Sovereignty Matters says the Dream Act would encourage more people to cross the border.

"So that everybody who was thinking of coming to the United States is listening to the President and both sides of Congress say there is going to be an amnesty, we want to have these people come here. They've heard it and heard it and heard it."

In a recent interview U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said universities like UCB will continue to help students like Terrence, "These are extraordinarily talented people and in the current era with all of the challenges we have in California, we cannot afford to waste this kind of talent," he said.

Terrence has been accepted to graduate school at Yale, but because he is undocumented, he doesn't qualify for a federally-backed loan which would give him a low interest rate. So, he may not go to Yale.

To watch the entire video, click here.


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