ACE and 33 other higher education associations sent a letter to Senate leaders in support of the Dream Act of 2019, legislation introduced last week by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) that would create a path to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers who were brought to the United States as children.
The Dream Act (S. 874) would allow these outstanding individuals to stay in the United States if they came here as children, graduated from high school or obtained a GED, and pursued college, military service, or at least three years of employment.
A related bill—the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6)—has been introduced in the House. ACE wrote to lawmakers last month in support of that measure.
The legal status of Dreamers has been a point of contention in the immigration policy debate for a number of years, gaining more widespread attention with President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order in 2012. Although President Trump sought to rescind DACA in September 2017, federal courts have blocked the rescission and the Supreme Court has not yet taken up the case, so it remains intact, although no new registrations are being accepted.
Congress has so far failed to act despite bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and widespread support across the country for permanent legal protections for Dreamers.