For many in the audience at Miami Dade College's graduation Friday, receiving a degree was a dream.
President Barack Obama told the diverse crowed packed into James L. Knight Center that he has a dream also -- to make the DREAM Act a reality.
"I strongly believe we should fix our broken immigration system," Obama declared to booming applause from the graduates, some of whom Obama said probably were undocumented immigrants.
The DREAM Act would allow any undocumented immigrant who serves in the military or is attending school to apply for citizenry.
As law stands now, those caught without papers are sent back to their home countries.
In a 55-minute commencement speech, Obama said many of those in South Florida who are undocumented likely never found out until they were adults and it was of no fault of their own.
He talked much about the diversity and different cultures graduating from MDC, which awards degrees to more Hispanic and African-American students than any other school in the country.
More than 3,000 graduates received degrees Friday night, representing dozens of countries. The President shortly joined them, receiving his first honorary associate’s degree from MDC President Eduardo Padròn.
Obama praised those who took the risk to get an education despite their citizen status.
He even referenced his own birth certificate controversy and told a story about his father's plea from Kenya to have a chance at a better life and education in the U.S.
"Someone gave him a chance," Obama said. "That's the American dream."