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Public Statements

Studying Toward Adjusted Residency Status Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. RIVERA. Mr. Speaker, many young immigrants have found themselves stuck in limbo due to our failure to address immigration reform. Such is the plight of my constituent, Daniela Pelaez, who came here from Colombia with her family when she was four. They overstayed their visas, and she has now been ordered deported. Next week, Daniela, who is here with us today in the gallery, will graduate as valedictorian from North Miami High. Having maintained a 6.7 GPA, she has received a full scholarship to Dartmouth College.

In order to assist students like Daniela today, I am introducing the Studying Toward Adjusted Residency Status, or STARS, Act. The STARS Act would allow undocumented students who arrive here at a young age, graduate from high school, and are accepted into a university to apply for a 5-year conditional nonimmigrant status. During that 5-year period, they can focus on their college education and, once they graduate, have their conditional status extended and work toward achieving residency.

This legislation can make the American Dream a reality for young people like Daniela, who through no fault of their own are prevented from realizing their full potential in this land of opportunity.

I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation to help Daniela and others like her who are as American as anyone born in the United States and who simply need a chance to continue being productive Americans.


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