The North Miami High School valedictorian who earned a two year reprieve in her deportation recently is now calling for lawmakers to consider a new immigration law aimed at undocumented students. The idea is a proposal dubbed Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status–or the STARS Act. The proposal calls for an immigration visa program to allow undocumented high school graduates to remain in the country for up to ten years through enrolling in college.
The proposed idea would require that a student be under the age of 18 to qualify for the special educational visa. An undocumented student would have to have lived in the U.S. for at least five years and show a history of good moral character.
A visa under the STARS Act would allow high school graduates to attend college for 5 years, and remain in the country legally for an additional five years. The STARS Act also would provide a pathway for full U.S. citizenship after the 10-year visa runs its course.
Recently, the student visited Washington and met with a group of bipartisan lawmakers, where a draft of the measure was reportedly drafted. A Congressman from Miami was a part of the Washington meeting.
The Miami student announced Wednesday that a new foundation is being created to support congressional action on the educational immigration reform for undocumented high school students. Wednesday marks the original date that she and her sister were to be deported before she gained a reprieve, as this has blog recently reported.
The Miami star student has lived in the U.S. since she was 4-years-old, having legally entered the country with her family on a visa. Her brother serves in the U.S. Army and is a U.S. citizen. The high school student’s father is a legal resident, but her mother has not been able to return to the U.S. since she travelled to Columbia for medical reasons in 2006.
Source: CBS Miami, “Valedictorian Pushing For STARS Act,” Mar. 28, 2012