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Opinion: In-state tuition for Dreamers is good for Georgia
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Outside of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. - photo by David Barnes

Gainesville is my home and has been for as long as I can remember. I grew up here and currently attend Oglethorpe University, where I am majoring in political science and minoring in urban leadership. 

I’m a proud Georgia resident and student, but due to my immigration status, achieving my education and career dreams has proven more difficult due to state policies preventing me from accessing in-state tuition rates in the very place I call home.

I came to the U.S. as a child and have since earned the ability to legally study and work in the U.S. thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

As a Dreamer attending college, I do my part in reaching out to Latino students to help them reach their full potential and prepare for college. I work to build a better life for myself and for other young immigrants.

I’m thankful for State Rep. Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton) for introducing the Georgia Resident In-State Tuition Act that would provide Dreamers with access to in-state tuition rates, and encourage Higher Education Committee Chairman Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) to schedule a hearing on this bill and Rep. Matt Dubnik (R-Gainesville) to vote in favor of the bill.

Expanding higher education access for Dreamers makes Georgia stronger and is good for hardworking young people and their families.

Tuition equity encourages young students to put their sights on earning a higher education degree so they too can one day participate in the workforce to give back to the Georgia communities they call home.

Diana Vela