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NCC student Lucas Codognolla spoke at a rally at City Hall in New Haven on Feb. 26 in support of in-state tuition for undocumented college students.
The rally, which was organized by Connecticut Students for a Dream, the Yale College Democrats, and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan de Yale, was in support of the Connecticut DREAM bill.
According to ussstudents.org, the event was in support of legislation recently defeated in the U.S. Congress, but now revived in the Connecticut State Assembly.
The proposed federal DREAM Act would create a pathway to American citizenship for undocumented students under certain conditions. The Connecticut DREAM bill would provide in-state tuition for undocumented students at the state’s public colleges and universities.
Codognolla came to Connecticut from Brazil in 2000. At the rally, he said, “The DREAM (Act) means so much more than getting an education. It means making my parents proud; it means I won’t have to work three jobs to pay for college; it means one day I’ll get to work in the nonprofit sector.”
Codognolla is a member of the NCC chapter of the Student World Assembly. He attended West High School student in Stamford, where he graduated with a 3.6 average. He is an honors student at NCC and a campus leader.
The United States Student Association Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., reports that the DREAM/Student Adjustment Act was first introduced in 2003 under the 107th Congress, but has been held within a House and Senate committee until recently. Both bills would have repealed the federal provision and allow immigration relief to undocumented immigrants who:
• Have good moral character
• Came to the U.S. at age 15 or younger at least five years before the date of the bill’s enactment
• Qualify for conditional permanent resident status upon acceptance to college, graduation from a U.S. high school, or being awarded a GED.