Dreamers fought tooth and nail for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Now Trump is taking it away and throwing the lives of 800,000 immigrant youth into chaos. At least 22,000 Dreamers will lose their status before March 6, 2018, leaving them unable to work and vulnerable to deportation. If Congress fails to pass the Dream Act by the end of the year, 1,400 more people will lose their status per day. There is no time to lose: we need Congress to act immediately and pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017. It’s up to each of us to build the country we want to live in. Now is the time. Join the fight.
Rosa Maria Hernandez
Rosa Maria Hernandez is a 10-year-old Dreamer with cerebral palsy who was stopped at an immigration checkpoint en route to undergo gallbladder surgery. Border Patrol agents followed her to the hospital and took her into custody after her surgery. Rosa Maria would qualify for protections under the Dream Act.
Jesus Arreola is a plaintiff in the ACLU’s recent class action lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s unjust revocation of people’s DACA even though they are still eligible for the program. The Dream Act would make sure that people like Jesus don't suddenly lose their status in the only country they know as home without process or explanation.
Jessica Colotl became the voice of the movement for Dreamers back in 2010, when she was a college student in Atlanta. Now her DACA is at risk—the Trump administration recently denied her renewal request for the second time, even after a judge ordered officials to reevaluate their decision last spring to deny her a renewal. The Dream Act could keep Jessica safe and able to work and contribute.
We want to hear from you
The ACLU has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of people whose DACA was wrongly revoked. If you or someone you know have had your DACA wrongly or arbitrarily revoked, please contact the ACLU at DACArevoked@aclu.org.
The National Immigration Law Center is looking for people who missed the October 5, 2017 deadline to renew their DACA (set to expire before March 5, 2018).
We are proud to partner with United We Dream in the fight for a clean Dream Act. Look on their website for more information and resources for Dreamers and their allies:
Frequently Asked Questions:
What does a “clean” Dream Act mean?
The Dream Act of 2017 is bipartisan legislation that provides a path to citizenship for more than 2 million immigrant youth and young adults who came to the U.S. as kids. It would include the 800,000 DACA recipients who have been left in limbo after the program was rescinded on September 5, 2017.
The legislation should be clean and avoid conditioning solutions for Dreamers on harsh and unnecessary policies that target other members of our immigrant communities. A clean Dream Act would not include:
- Funding for a border wall and increased border security that further militarizes border communities;
- Funding for increased interior enforcement, which would involve more raids and deportations;
- Funding for more immigration detention centers; or
- Mandatory use of E-Verify, the federal government’s employment verification program.
What can I do to help?
- Congress needs to hear from you: Contact your representatives and tell them you support the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017. Urge them to cosponsor the bill and push to pass it immediately.
- You have the power: set up in-district meetings with your Senator and Congressperson and urge them to defend Dreamers and pass the Dream Act right away. Our in-district meeting guide can be found here.
- Ready to do more? You can find Dream Act rallies and events using our People Power map. Don’t see any in your area? Create your own.
- Make noise: attend town halls, write op-eds and letters to the editor, and speak out in support of Dreamers.
What is DACA?
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program created in 2012 under the Obama administration to give undocumented young people who came to the United States as children the ability to study and work here without fear of deportation. Applicants had to have come to the U.S. before age 16 and meet other requirements, including presenting a record free of felony or serious misdemeanor convictions. Recipients were granted DACA for up to two years, when they had to renew their applications with the Department of Homeland Security. About 800,000 young people received DACA.
If Trump ended DACA, why do people still have it?
President Trump rescinded the DACA program on September 5, 2017, but allowed current DACA recipients to keep it until their individual DACA permits expire. People whose DACA was to expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 were allowed to apply to renew one last time as long as they submitted their renewal application by October 5, 2017. This deadline was both arbitrary and cruel – it gave DACA recipients less than a month to submit their applications and a fee of about $500. In the end, 22,000 Dreamers were unable to meet the deadline and will now lose their DACA and work authorization by March, leaving them vulnerable to job loss and deportation.
What happens to people when they lose their DACA?
Life as they know it immediately stops. Without DACA protections, Dreamers can no longer work legally and, depending on where they live and study, they may not be able to drive or attend school, either. Some Dreamers may then be unable to support their families, pay their mortgages, or proceed with other aspects of their lives. They are also at greater risk of deportation, which could mean losing the people they love most and the places they know best, and ending up in places where they may not even speak the language or have any family connections.
So DACA’s been rescinded. What do we do now?
Now is the time to fight for the country we want to live in. The vast majority of Americans — over 80 percent, according to most recent polls — agree that Dreamers should be allowed to stay in the U.S., the only country that many call home. To ensure that Dreamers can continue to work and live here without fear of deportation, we need Congress to pass a clean Dream Act immediately. The bipartisan Dream Act would protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as kids, and meet certain requirements, with a pathway to citizenship. This would offer a real solution, and give people who are American in every way but paperwork a path forward.
What’s the difference between people with DACA and Dreamers?
“Dreamers” is a catch-all term referring to undocumented young people who came to the United States as children. They may or may not have DACA, the program temporarily permitting some of them to stay here and work.
Why don’t people with DACA just get legal status and citizenship?
They can’t. There’s no path to legal status or citizenship for undocumented young people. Even the simple fact of marrying a U.S. citizen can be complicated and require the undocumented person to leave the U.S. for years in order to qualify for long-term status.
How do Dreamers impact the economy?
DACA has allowed Dreamers to pursue work and educational opportunities that were previously inaccessible to them. For that reason, the program has been a major driver of economic growth for cities and states that reap the benefits of DACA recipients’ increased spending power and tax dollars. That’s why over 800 business leaders signed a letter calling on Congress to pass the bipartisan Dream Act. Passing the Dream Act would have a tremendous economic impact on state economies across the country and would add a total of $22.7 billion annually to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).