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Monday, July 29, 2013

Dream activists visit Congressman John Lewis' office, raise awareness about college access, detained immigrants

Aaron Ward, district director of congressman John Lewis, talks with Dream activist in The Equitable building after handing the group a signed letter from Senator John Lewis.
  • Alyssa Pointer
  • Aaron Ward, Congressman John Lewis' district director, talks with Dream activists in the Equitable Building after handing the group a signed letter from the congressman.

Dream activists and undocumented students gathered inside Downtown's Equitable Building on Friday afternoon to seek support from Congressman John Lewis, D-Atlanta, on reducing tuition costs for undocumented students in Georgia.

Georgia is one of only three states that prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving in-state tuition. These students are also barred from entering Georgia's top five competitive public colleges, which include: University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, the Medical College of Georgia, and Georgia College and State University. Many of the members of DreamActivist Georgia have been attending Freedom University, where college professors teach courses to undocumented students. DreamActivist Georgia will hold a rally outside of the Gold Dome on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. to demand equal access to higher education.

The group also protested the detention of the Dream 9, a group of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children and who turned themselves in at the U.S. and Mexico border last Monday to raise awareness. They're now being held in a detention facility. The activists think the Dream 9 should be admitted to the U.S. through humanitarian parole.

After 15 minutes passed, Aaron S. Ward, Lewis' district director, presented the group with a letter of support for the Dream 9 signed by the congressman.

"We are pleased to know that Rep. Lewis supports the Dream 9 and we hope this encourages other representatives to also sign on," Dulce Guerrero of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance told CL. "We know that the action taken [by] these nine young people was inspired by the legacy of John Lewis and his belief of non-violent civil disobedience. We applaud the representative and hope others will follow in his footsteps in the coming days."

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