Government Affairs

UPCEA Co-Signs Letter to Senate Supporting Legislation on Dreamers

June 28, 2019

UPCEA, along with American Council on Education and 42 other higher education associations wrote Senate leadership to urge legislation as soon as possible to provide permanent protection for “Dreamers,” young, undocumented, high-achieving individuals who contribute to our college and university system.

Senators Graham and Durbin reintroduced the bipartisan Dream Act of 2019 (S.874), which was first introduced nineteen years ago, that would allow many Dreamers to earn lawful permanent residence in the United States and a path to citizenship. The bill focuses on the special case of talented and productive young people who came to this country at a very young age because of the actions of their parents. They are educated, English-speaking, and grew up with American values and traditions, making them American in every way except in immigration status. But these outstanding individuals are forced to live in an untenable political and legal limbo. They work and pay taxes. They serve in the military and teach in our schools. And tens of thousands of Dreamers have earned or are striving to earn a college degree. They consider America to be their only home. In addition, the House of Representatives recently passed the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), which would provide a long-term legislative fix for Dreamers, as well as those with Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure, who have seen their status rescinded and also live in uncertainty. Numerous studies have demonstrated that these individuals contribute substantially to the U.S. economy. According to Cato Institute estimates, deporting those with DACA status would cost over $60 billion in lost tax revenue and result in a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade.

Colleges and universities have seen these remarkable young people up close, in our classrooms and as our colleagues and friends. Despite the challenges they face, they have made incredible contributions to our country and its economy and security. If we are unable to protect them, we will be shutting the door to an entire generation of individuals who seek to contribute their best to America.

Read the letter in full


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