DREAM - DACA Image
Issue Background

Dream Act

HACU's Position 

HACU strongly supports a comprehensive, fair immigration law that protects our borders, upholds our values as a multicultural nation, and strengthens our economy and prosperity by providing educational opportunity for all students and, in particular, for immigrant students.

Immigration from many countries has been the basis for the unparalleled economic and industrial development of the United States. New immigrants have brought new ideas and made discoveries that have enhanced the economic and social life of the entire nation.

Currently, the United States is in a period of increased population growth through immigration. Hispanic youth, who account for a sizable number of long-term undocumented residents, often achieve exemplary academic credentials in high school and show the potential to become leaders and professionals in the U.S. workforce. Unfortunately, their residency status often prevents them from matriculating in postsecondary education. Cognizant of these realities, HACU has adopted policy statements supporting a comprehensive, fair immigration law that protects our borders, upholds our values as a multicultural nation and strengthens our economy and prosperity by providing educational opportunity for all students and, in particular, for immigrant students.

The bipartisan Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act was first introduced in the 108th Congress and was reintroduced in each subsequent Congress. This legislation would give states the flexibility to offer in-state tuition to undocumented students who meet certain conditions and provide a pathway to regularize their immigration status.

This measure will benefit those deserving students who have met the same rigorous academic requirements as their college-bound peers and graduated from U.S. high schools. The nation as a whole would benefit from the education of these young people, who will then be able to make their fullest contribution as future tax-payers, educators, professionals and leaders in areas of critical importance to the nation’s economy.

Many HSIs are located in communities with significant populations of undocumented Hispanic youth and are well situated to provide them with postsecondary opportunities.

While the DREAM Act has not yet passed Congress, HACU remains committed to advocating for the passage of DREAM Act legislation.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) Program

HACU and 51 other national organizations sent a letter to President Trump on August 30, 2017 urging the administration to keep Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) intact until a permanent solution can be reached.  To date, more than 800,000 individuals have registered with the DACA program.

On September 5, 2017, the administration formally announced it would end the DACA program.  The Department of Homeland Security will continue to process DACA renewals if the recipient's status expires before/on March 5, 2018, and the renewal application is filed by October 5, 2017. 

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court reached a 5-4 decision on the Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California case, affirming the lower courts’ decision that the Trump administration failed to properly rationalize rescission of the DACA program as required by the Administrative Procedure Act.

117th Congress

In February 2021, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (H.R. 6) was reintroduced by Rep. Roybal-Allard and had 175 co-sponsors. The bill would allow as many as 2.5 million people to apply for legal stutus and put them on a path that can ultimately lead to U.S. citizenship. H.R. 6 combines the longstanding Dream Act with a proposal to allow some immigrations with temporary humanitarian protections to apply for permnanent legal status. The House passed the bill and it is now in the Senate.

On February 4, Senators Durbin and Graham introduced the Dream Act of 2021 (S.264). The Dream Act of 2021 would allow nearly 650,000 DACA recipients, as well as at least 1.3 million eligible Dreamers broughts into the U.S. as children, to stay in the U.S.

On February 18, Senator Menendez and Rep. Sanchez introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act (S. 348/H.R. 1177), a bicameral legislation that focuses on family reunification, responsible and effective broder management, and economic growth and strengthened labor force.

HACU recommends that Congress enact the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (H.R. 6) or the Dream Act of 2021 by amending the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to permit states to determine state residency for higher education purposes and to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien students who are long-term United States residents.

Additional Information