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William Perez, a professor at California's Claremont Graduate University who has written about the DREAM Act, said "coming out" as an illegal immigrant can provide some protection for a young person facing deportation by drumming up support and public outcry.
"They're frustrated because they have the preparation, they have the skills and they have no options," Perez said. "So for them, this is one of the few remaining options to try to influence national policies."