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 sizeable number of long-term undocumented residents, are often achieving exemplary academic credentials in high school and showing 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 first introduced during the 108th Congress, 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 and security.
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.
In March 2019, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6) was introduced by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and has 224 co-sponsors. The bill would allow as many as 2.5 million people to apply for legal status and put them on a path that could ultimately lead to US citizenship. H.R. 6 combines the longstanding DREAM Act with a proposal to allow some immigrants with temporary humanitarian protections to apply for permanent legal status.
On March 26th, the Senate introduced the Dream Act of 2019 (S. 874) and the 2019 Secure Act (led by Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin). The Dream Act of 2019 would allow nearly 700,000 DACA recipients, as well as another at least 1.4 million eligible Dreamers brought to America as children, to say in the U.S. The 2019 SECURE Act (S. 879) would provide a pathway to citizenship and permanent protection from deportation to those under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs, covering more than 400,000 people who have made the United States their home.
HACU recommends that Congress enact the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6) or the Dream Act of 2019 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.