Dream Act

Immigration - The DREAM Act

2017 Update to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):On September 5, 2017, President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation and urged Congress to consider legislative solutions before the program is phased out in six months. Read President Trump's 9/5/17 Statement here. Several chambers across the country have released statements, including the Denver Metro Chamber, Greenville Chamber, Los Angeles Chamber, San Francisco Chamber, Salt Lake Chamber, St. Louis Regional Chamber, and Vail Valley Partnership.

This list provides additional examples of chamber statements regarding the DACA Decision

In ACCE’s Samples Library:
On the Web:
Historical Context: The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) was first introduced in the Senate in 2001. The bill would provide conditional permanent residency to certain immigrants who graduate from U.S. high schools, arrived in the United States as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment. If they were to complete two years in the military or two years at a four-year college or university, they would be eligible to obtain temporary residency for a six-year period. Within the six-year period, they may qualify for permanent residency if they "acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States, completed at least two years in a program for a bachelor's degree or higher degree, or have served in the armed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, received an honorable discharge". The bill would have included illegal aliens as old as 35 years of age.

Various attempts have been made to pass the DREAM Act as separate legislation even though its provisions are also included in legislative proposals for comprehensive immigration reform. The DREAM Act continues to attract bipartisan support, is supported by the President, and by leading business and military leaders. It remains unclear whether the DREAM Act will be passed as standalone legislation or as part of a broader comprehensive Immigration Reform legalization program.

While Congress has not yet passed the DREAM Act, many states have done so with 15 states implementing their own versions of the DREAM Act by November of 2013. These states are Texas, California, Illinois, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Washington, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, and Oregon. The Maryland DREAM Act was approved by state-wide ballot, winning 59% of the vote in 2012.Supporters argue that the DREAM Act is not an "amnesty program" and that it would produce a variety of social and economic benefits, while critics contend that it rewards illegal immigration and encourages further illegal immigration.

In June of 2012, the Obama administration announced that it would accept requests for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an initiative designed to temporarily suspend the deportation of young people residing unlawfully in the U.S who were brought to the United States as children, as long as they meet certain education requirements and generally match the criteria established under legislative proposals like the DREAM Act.

While not granting a path to legalization and citizenship, DACA provided an opportunity for a segment of the undocumented immigrant population to remain in the country without fear of deportation, and allowed them to apply for work permits and increases their opportunities for economic and social incorporation.

Below are links to resources where you can learn more about immigration and the DREAM Act:

Chamberpedia Home | Government Relations and Public Policy | Immigration | Dream Act

Last Updated: 9/26/2017

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