Associated Press
Undocumented college student Jorge Herrera, 18, center, of Carson, Calif., rallies with students and Dream Act supporters in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010. The Dream Act, which failed to move on in the Senate, would have given provisional legal status to illegal immigrants brought to the country as children.

I have conflicting feelings about Obama's new stance for undocumented youth. Similar to his LGBT "evolution," it is a politically calculating move that may be a slap in the face to the record number of people deported under Obama's watch. Nonetheless, the result and message is a hopeful move in the right direction. Yet it is not enough.

We must combat the prevalence of racism, ignorance and fear that all too often guide our public discourse and policy on immigration.

In Utah, our future, socially and economically, is closely tied to that of the immigrant.

Our classrooms have more diversity than ever before and it is a trend that will not change anytime soon.

Unfortunately, our non-white students are not succeeding and although the numbers are improving, as of 2011, 39 percent of our Hispanic/Latino students are dropping out.

Undocumented students cannot receive any form of federal financial aid. No grants, no loans and often they cannot even apply for scholarships. Why graduate from high school when such insurmountable barriers await? This can and must change. Initiatives such as the DREAM Act are critical for us all. Let's demand reform.

Jared Buhanan-Decker

Salt Lake City