The Blair Students Lobby State
and National Legislators
Yudi Rodriguez talks with Congress man Chris Van
Hollen as Melisa Lopes, Francisco Perez, Vumani Nkoma, and Danilo Reque
By Yudi Rodriguez
Five current and former Blair students had the opportunity
to speak with state and federal legislators about issues important to immigrants
at a recent town meeting.
The Latin community and immigrants in general had the chance to talk with Congressman
Chris Van Hollen from Maryland, Congressman Marino Rodriguez from Texas, and Maryland
delegates Ana Sol Gutierrez and Victor Ramirez. They talked about what they want
the government to do for the community and told them what we need as immigrants.
Current students Francisco Perez, Yasse Trujillo,
Melissa Lopes, and Yudi Rodriguez asked the congressmen and delegates to support
the DREAM Act and to give more funds to the Assessment State Grants and the Parents
Assessment Program. Former Blair students, Darwin Bonilla and Vumani Nkoma talked
about the need for support for adult education programs.
The DREAM Act supports immigrant students who have
been in U.S. for at least five years to get their residency so they can apply
for federal financial aid to help pay for their college education. The Assesment
State Grant program helps to get more ESOL teachers for immigrant students. The
Parents Assessment Program proposes to have a center where parents can get information
about school systems in their own language.
This meeting was organized by Casa of Maryland (Comunidad
Hispana). ESOL teacher Ms. Sandra Gutierrez is a volunteer helper at Casa of Maryland
and a former ESOL student. She helped to organize the meeting and gave the chance
to the students to speak at the meeting.