Who is a DREAMer?

DREAMers have known no country other than the United States, and should have the same opportunities as their friends and neighbors.

Dream Act Now youth | Dreamer

By Stephanie Presch, Content Specialist, UnidosUS

During President Trump’s State of the Union, he stated that “Americans are dreamers, too.” This is a cynical attempt to co-opt the term “DREAMer” which describes a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DREAM—not Dream or dream—stands for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, which has failed to make its way through Congress several times since 2001, most recently in 2013. DREAM would have offered undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children legal permanent residency.

In 2013, as Congress failed to pass another version of the DREAM Act, President Obama created the DACA program. Under DACA, nearly 800,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as undocumented children received a two-year, renewable deferral of deportation and work permit.

These young immigrants were required to to be strictly vetted. This included undergoing criminal and security screenings and additional checks every 24 months. This is in addition to a number of other strict requirements, including having to be younger than 16 when they arrived in the United States and having proof that they have been living in the country continuously since June 15, 2007.

These are the young people known as “DREAMers.”

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‘We will not stop fighting for what is right for our country’

We joined DREAMers and fellow advocates on Capitol Hill to condemn the attempts to block a Dream law.

UnidosUS joined DREAmers and advocates on January 19, 2018 for a Capitol Hill press conference condemning lawmakers for blocking a vote on Dream Act legislation. Photo: UnidosUS | Dreamers

UnidosUS joined DREAmers and advocates on Capitol Hill on January 19, 2018 to call out congressional leaders for not pursuing a Dream bill. Photo: UnidosUS

By Stephanie Presch, Content Specialist, UnidosUS

As a possible government shutdown looms, advocates from a coalition of 45 Latino rights organizations arrived on Capitol Hill on Friday to demand relief for the nearly 800,000 young people left in limbo after President Trump ended DACA.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Hispanic Federation, and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) also brought 150 DREAMers with them from California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, DC.

While congressional leaders fail to arrive at a solution for these young people, 122 become deportable each day.

That isn’t just 122 dreams deferred each day, 122 people who suddenly can’t keep their jobs, can’t afford their education, have to put off buying a home, or simply can no longer provide for their families.

That’s 122 people who suddenly are thrust into the unknown, forced to live in fear of being deported back to a country where they not only may know no one at all, but be in very real danger.

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Here’s what you can do today to defend DREAMers

Call Congress - Defend DREAMers

Photo: Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

We just ended 2017 without a meaningful relief package for DREAMers.

This means that every day, 122 people lose their chance to work, to further their education, to own a home, or simply provide for their families.

That will become an estimated 1,400 people per day in March.

So we can’t wait anymore.

We need a Dream Act this month.

Watch the video below and read on to see how you can take action to help DREAMers today.

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‘We need to get DREAMers legislation DONE!’

UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía joined U.S. Representative Steny H. Hoyer for a Facebook Live talk on the current state of the fight for a DREAM Act Now.

Today our President and CEO Janet Murguía joined Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland to update our community on where things stand in Congress regarding legislation to protect DREAMers.

The fight has been long and hard, and we still have much to do. But we are in a better place than we have been in quite some time.

We are closer than ever to getting legislation that permanently protects DREAMers. This is an issue that has broad support from both parties. Indeed, the Dream Act has bipartisan co-sponsors and enough votes to pass easily if brought to a vote today.

But January is the last chance for Congress to take action before tens of thousands of DREAMers lose their ability to live, work, and contribute to the only country they know.

View the full video of the Facebook Live session below:

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‘We Will Not Allow Our Dreams to Die’

North Carolina Youth Hold Vigil Outside Courthouse to Demand DREAM Act Now

Dream Act Now

All photos courtesy of El Pueblo

By Stephanie Presch, Content Specialist, UnidosUS

Last week, youth in Raleigh, North Carolina organized a rally outside of a courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina to protest the lack of progress there has been on relief for the nearly 800,000 DREAMers who came to the United States when they were children.

“They made a casket with the word Dreams written on it, and at the end of the vigil, we opened the casket and white balloons were released symbolizing that we will not allow our dreams to die,” recalled Miguel Figueras, Youth Program Coordinator at El Pueblo, Inc., an UnidosUS Affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Scroll down to see more photos and a video.

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