LULAC Sends Joint Letter to Senate Leadership in Support of Amendments that Would Strengthen Senate Bill 744

May 14, 2013

Contact: Paloma Zuleta, 202-833-6130, PZuleta (at) LULAC . org

Washington, D.C.- As co-chairs of the Hispanic Education Coalition (HEC), LULAC and MALDEF issued a joint letter to Senate leadership urging support of amendments introduced by Senators Hirono, Coons, Blumenthal, and Hatch. HEC includes over 20 organizations focused on improving educational opportunities and outcomes for more than the 54 million Hispanics living in the United States and Puerto Rico.

HEC supports Senator Hirono’s amendment because it would extend federal higher education support under Title IV of the Higher Education Act to Dreamers and Blue Card holders. In addition, HEC supports the amendment introduced by Senator Coons because it would ensure that Dreamers and other immigrants would be eligible to apply for professional and technical trade licensing once they adjust their immigration status. Furthermore, HEC supports the amendment introduced by Senator Blumenthal which provides a 5 year path to citizenship for all students including those who are presently not recognized as Dreamers. Lastly, HEC supports the amendment introduced by Senator Hatch which would raise revenue for Stem related education at Hispanic serving institutions.

The only amendment specifically opposed by HEC in its letter was an amendment introduced by Senator Cruz. The Cruz amendment would change existing funding streams for STEM education to block grant funding. Historically, education block grants have failed to address the needs of Latino students, migrant students, immigration students, and English language learners.

“LULAC supports the amendments introduced by Senators Hirono, Coons, Blumenthal, and Hatch because they would help ensure that all Latino children have access to a high quality affordable education,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. “We will continue to urge the Senate to reach a consensus on an immigration bill that allows for every member of the Latino community to pursue their professional aspirations.”

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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.

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