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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