The Time Is Now for Congress to Protect Dreamers

December 7, 2017

Share this

Use the Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition’s Contact Congress tool to write your lawmakers

Dreamer Gloria Oduyoye, who was brought to the United States as a one-year-old, is in her final semester at William and Mary (VA) Law School, after earning her undergraduate dual degree in political science and music at Wesleyan College (GA).

Juan Vasquez, who was brought to the United States illegally from El Salvador when he was nine years old, was in class at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (UCSF) when he heard about the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

faces-of-dreamers-ad-sizeThese are just two of the stories told on our Faces of Dreamers page about individual Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as young children, many of whom are under threat of deportation following the rescission of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. The Trump administration revoked 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.

There is bipartisan support both for legislation providing permanent protection for Dreamers and for passing such a measure by the end of the year. The roughly 800,000 individuals with DACA status are high-achieving young people who work and pay taxes, attend college, and serve in the military.

Just this week, a group of some three dozen Republican House members this week wrote House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), asking him to ensure that happens, noting that Dreamers are “American in every way except their immigration status.”

“We must pass legislation that protects DACA recipients from deportation and gives them the opportunity to apply for a more secured status in our country as soon as possible,” the lawmakers said. “Reaching across the aisle to protect DACA recipients before the holidays is the right thing to do.”

The Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition website provides more information about the issue, as well as a tool for contacting members of Congress to let them know the importance of acting now to pass a permanent legislative fix protecting Dreamers. To send a letter, click here.

In October, more than 800 college and university presidents signed their institutions on to a letter urging Congress to take prompt action. “Colleges and universities have seen these remarkable people up close, in our classrooms and as our colleagues and friends,” the letter stated. “Despite the challenges they face, they have made incredible contributions to our country and its economy and security.”

In addition, a number of individual campus leaders have spoken out about the need for congressional action. (See a sampling on the sidebar to this post.)

Continue to make your voice heard.

If you have any questions or comments about this blog post, please contact us.

Keep Reading

The Right Credential for the Right Student at the Right Time

Credentials have proliferated in recent years to meet the diverse needs of our 21st century knowledge economy, including not only degrees, but also certificates, professional/industry certifications, licensures and badges. Deborah Seymour and Deborah Everhart write on the importance of sorting through this maze of post-secondary credentials.

March 30, 2016

U.Va. Climate Change Case Highlights Need to Protect Unpublished Research Data

The high-profile lawsuit involving former University of Virginia professor Michael Mann’s climate change research communiqués has made its way to the Supreme Court of Virginia. The case shines a light on the need for public institutions to examine whether state laws protect them against being compelled to disclose unpublished research data, scholarly communications and other internal documents.

January 27, 2014


As the academic year draws to a close, it’s an appropriate time to briefly recap higher education-related activity on Capitol Hill. ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle writes on recent action—or lack thereof—in Congress and the higher education issues waiting in the wings, including President Obama’s college ratings plan.

July 8, 2014