Dear Senators Brown, Hegeman, Cunningham, Curls, Nasheed, and Representatives Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Rowland, Kendrick, and McGee,
Higher education should be accessible to all of us regardless of sex, religion, race, or immigration status because educational opportunities for all Missourians creates a stronger Missouri.
Our organizations, businesses, advocacy groups, and educational institutions urge you to reconsider language in budget bill HB 2003 that would bar low-income immigrant youth from access to higher education.
As introduced, this bill targets the most vulnerable people in our community. It undermines efforts to make Missouri inclusive, welcoming and open to business. Instead, it paints our state as anti-immigrant and discriminatory.
In Missouri, 3,524 of our neighbors used their DACA status to give back to our country. They are our doctors, soldiers, educators, day laborers, students, neighbors, family, and friends.
Individuals who have received DACA contribute to Missouri’s economy. Many of these Missourians have lived in this state since they were children, graduating from local high schools. They work, they pay taxes, and they give back to their communities.
Pushing DACA recipients out of Missouri by pricing them out of higher education could cost Missouri roughly 200 million annually.
Missouri cannot afford to drive talented students away and it should not mire our educational institutions in the convoluted world of immigration law.
It is within our power to create opportunity and foster growth. That starts with budgeting for success.
We urge you to strike sections 3.300 and 3.305 of HB 2003 and ensure that Missouri allows talented, hardworking students to thrive.
Together, we can prosper.
Kansas/ Missouri Dream Alliance
Legislative and Policy Director
ACLU of Missouri
St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America
Judith R. Gonzalez
Director of Community Engagement
Hand in Hand Multicultural Center, Springfield
Missouri Faith Voices
Rev. Dottie Mathews
Faith Voices of Columbia Volunteer
Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates
St. Francis Community Services
Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry
Meredith L. Rataj
St. Francis Community Services Southside Center
Sister Joan Kuester
Executive Director of Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis
Jeanette Mott Oxford
Immediate Past President
OCA St. Louis
HS Spanish Teacher
Guadalupe Centers School District
Immigrant Justice Committee
Christ Church United Church of Christ
Mission & Outreach Ministry Team
Kirkwood United Church of Christ
The Cross-Border Network
Jude A. Huntz
Visitation Catholic Church
Justice and Peace Director Missionaries of the Precious Blood -- Kansas City
Sr. Joan Hornick, ASC
Deacon Robert J Lanter
Director of Deacons
Diocese of Belleville
St Rose Church Adult Formation Coordinator
Sr. Rosemary Russell
Chairperson, Immigrant and Refugee Committee
Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, O'Fallon, MO
Native American Student Association
Missouri Southern State University
Multicultural Counseling and Research Center
Amy Hansen-Malek, Lead Organizer
Showing Up for Racial Justice
School Sister of Notre Dame, STL
Sisters of St. Francis
Michelle Bushart, Attorney
Micki Bushart Law LLC
Professor, Communication Department
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Missouri State University & Ozarks Technical Community College
Alejandra Perez, Academic Advisor
Metropolitan Community College
Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Reconciliation
Jeannie Irons, Instructor
Regional Director Midwest
College Advising Corps
First Unitarian Church St Louis Toward Justice Group
Faculty Mentor Program Coordinator
Metropolitan Community College, Maple Woods
Bronwen Voss, Judith Campbell, Guillermo Rosas, Lizanne Young, Columbia IL, Edith Cooper, Shanna Cass, Yuima Mizutani, M.Ed., NCC, LPC, Alan Wurth, Sheerie Green , Beverly Simmerman, Nidelvia Peraza, Joanna Mendez, Natalie Moultrie