Hip-hop artist French Montana wants to help young undocumented immigrants achieve their college dreams.
The 33-year-old star joined forces with MTV and Get Schooled, a nonprofit focused on improving high school graduation rates and boosting college attendance, to launch “We Are The Dream.” The campaign seeks to help young undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, go to college.
Rolling Stone broke the news of the initiative on Thursday.
“I am one of tens of thousands of first and second generation immigrants that are having a significant positive impact on the United States,” the Moroccan-American rapper said in a press release. “I am excited to lead others in this fight to ensure Dreamers connect with support they need to get to college and make their American Dream come true.”
The campaign will leverage social media and its WeAreTheDream.us digital hub to help undocumented students find resources and support. The website will include personal stories, information on scholarships, and the names of sanctuary colleges. Dreamers can text “we are the dream” to 33-55-77 with questions that trained counselors will answer and keep confidential.
Montana will lead the social media campaign, asking people to post selfies with the hashtag #WeAreTheDream to share stories, spread awareness and express solidarity with Dreamers. Get Schooled will hold a Twitter chat on Feb. 21 with experts, and will award grants (up to $1,000) to schools, colleges, and community-based organizations looking to support undocumented students’ access to higher education.
In a video for the campaign, Montana explains that he was born in Casablanca, Morocco, and emigrated the United States at age 13. “I was given the opportunity, I was given the chance, I was given a dream,” he said, adding that he wants to give undocumented immigrants the same resources.
Dreamers have been in a particularly precarious situation since President Donald Trump announced in September that he would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. His decision will leave nearly 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of deportation.
Congress has until March 5 to pass legislation that would give Dreamers a path to citizenship. Otherwise an estimated 1,000 DACA recipients per day will begin losing protections. Some Dreamers already are exposed to the threat of deportation.