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Protecting Dreamers at Center of Federal Spending Negotiations

January 03, 2018

Use Higher Education Contact Congress Tool to Urge Legislative Fix for DACA

​The fate of hundreds of thousands of young people known as Dreamers remains in limbo as congressional leaders and President Trump negotiate a final FY 2018 spending bill and try to avert a government shutdown.

As CNN reported this morning, congressional leaders will meet later today with key White House staff to relaunch discussions on reaching a spending bill deal. Congress on Dec. 21 passed a short-term spending extension keeping the government open until Jan. 19, effectively putting off larger issues such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Dreamers that continue to be at the center of negotiations over a final FY 2018 spending measure.

A group of some three dozen Republican House members wrote House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) in December, asking him to ensure that a legislative solution protecting Dreamers was approved before the end of the year, noting that Dreamers are “American in every way except their immigration status.”

ACE President Ted Mitchell said in a statement last month that it was extremely disappointing for Congress to fail to resolve the issue of how to protect Dreamers before lawmakers left town for the year. He urged Congress to “move swiftly to adopt a long-term solution for Dreamers as lawmakers work to finalize the FY 2018 appropriations process in January.”

Three former homeland security secretaries have urged faster action to protect Dreamers, The New York Times​ reported today.

The Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition website provides more information about the issue, as well as a tool for contacting members of Congress to let them know the importance of acting now to pass a permanent legislative fix protecting Dreamers. To send a letter, click here.

In October, more than 800 college and university presidents signed their institutions on to a letter urging Congress to take prompt action. “Colleges and universities have seen these remarkable people up close, in our classrooms and as our colleagues and friends,” the letter stated. “Despite the challenges they face, they have made incredible contributions to our country and its economy and security.”

ACE’s Higher Education Today blog carries stories of individual Dreamers on its Faces of Dreamers page.

In addition, the DC Immigration Hub is seeking the signatures of local and state elected officials, civic, labor, and higher education leaders for letters to the congressional delegations in Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Virginia

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