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Essay on Overview of The California Dream Network

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Now in its 10th year of existence, the California Dream Network (CDN) has been at the forefront of immigrant youth organizing and civic engagement in Cali- fornia. A program of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), the CDN began in 2003 as an effort to reconnect and continue organizing the alumni from CHIRLA’s high school program for immigrant youth, Wise Up!, as they entered college and founded immigrant student support and advocacy groups.1 The CDN’s purpose is to address the needs of undocumented immigrant students, and to engage them in campaigns to promote social change around immigration reform and access to higher education. The CDN began as a network of 11 university- and college-based organizations serving immigrant students across the state. Today, the CDN has over 50 member organizations spanning many of California’s community colleges and universities.
The first section of this paper contains background information on the CDN and a demographic profile of CDN participants. The second section of this paper describes how CDN members obtain information about the immigrant rights movement and compares the civic engagement of CDN members with that of other young adults in California. This section also presents information about how CDN members influence their families’ civic engagement. Finally, the third section of this paper illustrates the economic and immigration-related challenges faced by CDN members.
The founding members of the CDN included many of CHIRLA’s Wise Up! alumni who had been part of the campaign to pass Assembly Bill 540 (A.B. 540), California legislation that provides in-state tuition to students who attended high school in California, regardless of their immigration status. ...


... middle of paper ...


...ial aid to undocumented students in public colleges and universities across California.
3Introduced by the Obama Administration in June 2012, DACA is an administrative program through which eligible undocumented youth can apply for deferred action (a discretionary determination to defer the deportation of an individual) for a period of two years, subject to renewal. Eligible youth may also apply for work authorization.
4Lopez, Hugo and Benjamin Brown. 2006. Civic Engagement among 2-year and 4-year College Students. Somerville, MA: The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
5Department of Homeland Security. 2012. Immigration Enforce- ment Actions: 2011. Washington, DC:. Available at: http://www. dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/immigration-statistics/ enforcement_ar_2011.pdf
appendix a - college campuses with cdn affiliated groups*


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