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Greensboro City Council to vote on DREAM Act resolution

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A group in Greensboro is urging city leaders to stand up for the DREAM Act and the thousands of young people in North Carolina who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

City council members will vote on a resolution to support the DREAM Act next week, but FOX8 got a copy of it Thursday.

If the resolution passes, Greensboro City Council members will call on North Carolina leaders in Washington to take immediate action to pass the DREAM Act. The act, which stands of Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, would help create a path to residency and citizenship for certain minors, including many DACA recipients.

DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, spoke in support of the resolution at Tuesday's city council meeting, including Saul Rodriguez, 19. He shared how this decision could affect his life and why the city's support is so important to him.

Rodriguez is like many overachieving college freshmen.

“I want to be an anesthesiologist," he said.

He lives and studies on campus at Guilford College.

“I’m studying health science and Spanish," Rodriguez said.

He volunteers in his free time.

“I do volunteer with Let’s Learn Triad, which is for tuition equity," he said.

But Rodriguez is a DACA recipient going to college on private scholarships. His mom brought him to the United States at just 4 years old.

“A single mother, and she traveled to the U.S. because I had a lot of medical issues," he said.

Rodriguez shared his story earlier this week, when the Greensboro Human Relations Commission handed council members a letter.

It asks the city to call on Congress to support the DREAM Act and the immigrant youth who are trying to thrive in Greensboro.

"I'm just touched by the stories and by the situation," City Councilwoman Dr. Goldie Wells said.

The city drew up its own resolution after many council members supported the idea. The resolution says the city "is committed to promoting programs and policies, such as the Dream Act, that empower and protect immigrant youth so that they can pursue their dreams as active participatory members of the City of Greensboro's education system, workforce, and overall economy."

"I hope we get this resolution, because truthfully to be told, today it's you, tomorrow it could be me," City Councilwoman Sharon Hightower added.

Rodriguez says passing this resolution would give him more confidence to pursue the work he feels called to do.

“Because I won’t face negative backlash, like in other cities, I know people have come out and expressed their situation, and their city pretty much rejects them entirely," he said. "But I know here, if I do advocacy work and someone doesn’t like it, I’ll have a whole bunch of people to support me.”

It also gives him hope that other DACA students can find similar opportunities.

“I know a lot of students that are undocumented and are younger than me, and they haven’t gotten up to a college education just yet, and I want them to be able to get that," he said.

The vote is happening at Tuesday's city council meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers. You'll be able to give your input on the resolution before the vote happens.

You can click the attached documents to see the Human Relation Commission's letter and the city council's proposed resolution in full.