DACA and Dreamers

The Issue

​​​​In 2001, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would create a process by which immigrants could apply for conditional residency that would lead to permanent residency based upon their age of entry into the United States. Despite numerous reintroductions in each Congress from 2001 to 2020, the DREAM Act has failed to pass.​

In June 2012, President Obama established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy by executive action. DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States at a young age to become eligible for a work permit, a Social Security card, a driver’s license, and deferred deportation. The Trump administration rescinded the policy Sept. 5, 2017, but delayed ending it until March 5, 2018. 

In granting a six-month delay, President Trump asked Congress to pass legislation to provide a permanent solution for those currently protected under DACA. Congress has not yet acted, but on June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration may not immediately proceed with its plan to end the program. ACE advocates on behalf of the Dreamers, urging Congress to pass legislation to grant them permanent legal status and other protections. 

Our Work

​Amicus Briefs, Letters, and More

Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on DACA Case
Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on DACA Case
ACE and 43 other higher education associations submitted this amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to affirm lower court decisions keeping in place the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy the Trump administration rescinded in 2017.
Letter From Colleges and Universities in Support of Dreamers
Letter From Colleges and Universities in Support of Dreamers
Over 600 institutions sent this letter to Congress urging a permanent legislative solution for the young, undocumented individuals brought to the United States as children.
Letter From College and University Presidents Urging Congress to Take Action to Protect Dreamers
Letter From College and University Presidents Urging Congress to Take Action to Protect Dreamers
More than 800 college and university presidents and chancellors sent a letter to Congress urging them to take action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Talking Points and Other Resources on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Talking Points and Other Resources on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
The Trump administration is in the process of phasing out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. These talking points and other material can be used as background information in discussing the status of DACA with members of Congress and others.
Letter to Congress on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Letter to Congress on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
ACE and 78 other associations sent this letter urging Congress to pass legislation as soon as possible to permanently protect the nearly 800,000 individuals currently protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Issue Brief: Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Issue Brief: Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
In the wake of the Trump administration’s rollback of Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), ACE has prepared this issue brief detailing the key elements of the administration’s “DACA Rescission Memorandum” and how it will impact students and ca...
Letter to President Trump on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Letter to President Trump on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
ACE and 36 other associations sent a letter to President Trump on August 29 urging the administration to keep DACA intact until a permanent solution can be reached.
Letter of Support for the Dream Act of 2017
Letter of Support for the Dream Act of 2017
ACE and 32 other higher education associations are urging the Senate to approve the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017, which would allow a select group of talented young undocumented immigrants—commonly known as Dreamers—to earn lawful permanent residence a...
Letter From College and University Presidents to President Trump About Dreamers
Letter From College and University Presidents to President Trump About Dreamers
Signed by more than 560 college and university presidents, this letter thanks President Trump for his positive comments about “Dreamers” and asks him to allow these productive and high-achieving individuals to continue working and studying while his ad...
Letter in Support of the BRIDGE Act
Letter in Support of the BRIDGE Act
Letter from ACE and 20 other higher education associations to Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) in support of the Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow Our Economy (BRIDGE) Act (S. 128).
Letter to the Senate Endorsing the Dream Act of 2019
Letter to the Senate Endorsing the Dream Act of 2019
ACE and 33 other higher education associations sent a letter April 4 to Senate leaders in support of the Dream Act of 2019 (S. 874).

​Latest News

Episode 28: Dreamers and Immigration Policy: Past, Present, Future
Episode 28: Dreamers and Immigration Policy: Past, Present, Future
Listen to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and immigration rights activist, Jose Antonio Vargas talk about the prospects of DACA, immigration policy in general, and what colleges and universities can do to help.
Trump Administration Will Reject New DACA Applications While Deciding Future of the Program
Trump Administration Will Reject New DACA Applications While Deciding Future of the Program
The Trump administration announced that it will reject new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, despite a federal judge’s order that said new applicants must be considered.
DACA and Dreamers: A Conversation with Jose Antonio Vargas
DACA and Dreamers: A Conversation with Jose Antonio Vargas
Jointly presented by ACE and AASCU, Jose Antonio Vargas will discuss the Supreme Court decision against ending the DACA program with AASCU President Mildred García. Generously supported by Fidelity Investments. Presented on ACE Engage—Create your account.
Episode 24: Supreme Court Protects DACA, LGBTQ Workers; Prioritizing DEI During COVID-19
Episode 24: Supreme Court Protects DACA, LGBTQ Workers; Prioritizing DEI During COVID-19
Hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa discuss the recent Supreme Court decisions on DACA and LGBTQ workers, and are joined by Lori White, incoming president of DePauw University, to talk about the fall semester.
Supreme Court Blocks Trump Administration From Ending DACA
Supreme Court Blocks Trump Administration From Ending DACA
In a long-anticipated ruling, the Supreme Court yesterday voted 5 to 4 to reject the Trump administration's 2017 attempt to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on U.S. Supreme Court DACA Decision
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on U.S. Supreme Court DACA Decision
We are extremely gratified that the Supreme Court has kept DACA in place. It's now time for Congress to act.
Remember the Dreamers: Groups Launch New Website to Support Dreamers, DACA Recipients
Remember the Dreamers: Groups Launch New Website to Support Dreamers, DACA Recipients
ACE and a coalition of partners have launched a new website to support Dreamers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients as they await the Supreme Court’s decision on whether President Trump illegally ended DACA in 2017.
dotEDU Episode 19: A College at the Crossroads of COVID-19 and DACA
dotEDU Episode 19: A College at the Crossroads of COVID-19 and DACA
Carrie Hauser, president of Colorado Mountain College, talks with co-hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa about how her institution has responded to the pandemic and how its unique, interest-free income share agreement for DACA students has adapted.
Colorado Mountain College Creates Unique Tuition Assistance Program for DACA, Other Students
Colorado Mountain College Creates Unique Tuition Assistance Program for DACA, Other Students
In Colorado, undocumented students—who cannot apply for most financial aid—now have at least one more option as they decide how to finance their degree.
Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Legality of Trump Administration’s Move to End DACA
Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Legality of Trump Administration’s Move to End DACA
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Nov. 12 on whether President Trump’s decision to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy was done legally.
ACE, 43 Other Associations Submit Amicus Brief Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold the Legality of DACA
ACE, 43 Other Associations Submit Amicus Brief Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold the Legality of DACA
Background on an amicus brief ACE and 43 higher education associations submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
Hundreds of Colleges and Universities Sign Letter Urging Congressional Action to Protect Dreamers
Hundreds of Colleges and Universities Sign Letter Urging Congressional Action to Protect Dreamers
More than 600 colleges and universities have signed a letter urging Congress act now to pass long overdue bipartisan legislation providing permanent protection for Dreamers.
Supreme Court to Review DACA Policy Protecting Young Undocumented Immigrants
Supreme Court to Review DACA Policy Protecting Young Undocumented Immigrants
The Supreme Court will review the Trump administration's decision to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy in its October term.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Supreme Court Decision to Take Up DACA
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Supreme Court Decision to Take Up DACA
The Supreme Court will hear three DACA cases this fall. However, there remains an urgent need for Congress to pass a long-term legislative solution for Dreamers.
House Approves Dream Act, Sending Bill to Senate
House Approves Dream Act, Sending Bill to Senate
The measure would give young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children a pathway to citizenship.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Trump Administration’s Immigration Proposal
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Trump Administration’s Immigration Proposal
ACE President Ted Mitchell expressed support for the goal of allowing more international students and scholars to stay and contribute to the economy but concern over availability of other visa types and lack of protections for Dreamers.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Senate Dream Act of 2019
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Senate Dream Act of 2019
ACE President Ted Mitchell applauds Sens. Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin for introducing the bipartisan Dream Act of 2019.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Dream and Promise Act of 2019
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Dream and Promise Act of 2019
ACE President Ted Mitchell released a statement applauding Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Nydia Velázquez, and Yvette Clarke for introducing the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 and urging Congress to pass the legislation.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell Urging Congressional Action to Protect Dreamers
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell Urging Congressional Action to Protect Dreamers
ACE President Ted Mitchell applauds the House Judiciary Committee for taking up the urgent issue of protecting Dreamers and expressing hope for a path to pass bipartisan legislation providing permanent legal protections.
Agreement Reached to End Government Shutdown; Senate Democrats Secure Commitment to Address DACA, Dreamers
Agreement Reached to End Government Shutdown; Senate Democrats Secure Commitment to Address DACA, Dreamers
Senate Democrats joined Republicans Monday to clear the way for the passage of a short-term spending bill to fund the government through Feb. 8 in exchange for a commitment to find a legislative solution for Dreamers.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Ninth Circuit DACA Ruling
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Ninth Circuit DACA Ruling
ACE President Ted Mitchel released a statement Nov. 8 on the Ninth Circuit Court's decision keeping the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy in force.
 
 
 


The Remember the Dreamers campaign is working to focus Congress on finding a legislative solution for Dreamers and DACA recipients. Working together, the higher education community plays a vital role in both advocating for and assisting these young people, many of whom are students on our campuses.

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