RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE UMC SCHOLARSHIPS TO UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT STUDENTS PASSES AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The Hispanic Assembly presented its resolution to provide qualified undocumented immigrant students within the United Methodist Florida Conference of churches access to church scholarships and scholarship loans equal to that of documented immigrants and US citizens.

Arguments for the resolution included the temporary immigrant status of full time students granted under the U.S. DREAM ACT of 2012, and a resolution passed by the General Conference of the UMC in 2008 to review policy and legal restrictions governing student loans and scholarships and to eliminate any requirements for U.S. citizenship.

Arguments surrounded the legality of the DREAM ACT, which was not passed by the US Congress, but was in fact approved as an Executive Order by the President. Because of this action from the White House, concerns were raised about the most recent unrestrained explosion of undocumented immigrants entering the U.S., and the potential costs such a decision could have on American taxpayers and charitable contributions to the church. Concerns were raised about the fairness to qualified documented immigrants and U.S. citizens being denied scholarships given this increase on limited and/or diminishing resources. Such concerns did not stop the body of the Annual Conference from passing this resolution.

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